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From April 2023 onwards, IUCN NL and partners Alliance for Tompotika Conservation (AlTo) Indonesia, A Rocha Ghana, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) Philippines, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC), Natuur & Milieu and Stop Ecocide NL will start a new project: Bottom Line!. A coalition of civil society organisations will be working towards a fair energy transition with the lowest possible impact on people and nature, both in The Netherlands and in the sourcing countries. The project is made possible thanks to a contribution of 1.8 million euros from the National Postcode Lottery.

The demand for minerals such as copper ore, cobalt, nickel and manganese is rising explosively due to the energy transition. These are needed for batteries for electric cars and wind turbines, for example. It is indisputable that we need to accelerate the transition from fossil to renewable energy. But how do we ensure that we make this shift as fairly as possible, while minimising the negative impact on people and nature?

Bottom Line! Approach

Firstly, this means reducing energy consumption. In addition, we must set stricter requirements for the responsible extraction of raw materials. A bottom line has to be established and monitored: a clear limit that indicates where and how mining may take place, so that the damage to people and nature remains within set boundaries.

Coenraad Krijger, Director of IUCN NL, says: “We urgently need a system change that encourages us to be more frugal with our resources and extract them responsibly and in a way that is truly future proof.  With this project, we will promote a fair, responsible energy transition for people and nature.”

Mining-threatened areas

Bottom Line! will focus on three areas with crucial value for global biodiversity which, if current mining practices continue unchecked, will be severely impacted by our energy transition: the Tompotika Forest in Indonesia, threatened by nickel mining; the Atewa Forest in Ghana, where there are plans for bauxite mining; and Tampakan in the Philippines, where indigenous communities are resisting large-scale mining of copper ore in a vulnerable river basin. Moreover, we will literally dive into the deep sea of international waters, where ocean health, carbon sequestration capacity and vulnerable species yet to be discovered would be put at risk if mining were to begin.

Raising awareness among politicians, businesses and the public

Bottom Line! Initiators

‘In and around these areas, we will strengthen the voice of people and organisations that stand up for nature and human rights, and advocate for stricter mining laws and regulations (including no-go zones) and their enforcement. We will use the experiences and stories from these land- and seascapes to raise awareness among local and international governments – including a targeted focus on Dutch and European policy makers – the business community, financial institutions and end users. In doing so, we will call on the public and private sectors for more emphasis on reducing consumption, and on reuse, recycling and circular design. When mining does take place, there must be a broad application of the IRMA standard for responsible mining, taking into account communities, employees and the natural environment.’

Jonne Arnoldussen (managing director Postcode Lottery): ‘The Postcode Lottery has supported the work of IUCN NL since 2000, and is delighted to be able to make an additional contribution of €1.8 million through Bottom Line! thanks to our participants. The project encourages the energy chain to be more frugal and cautious with the extraction of resources. And what we also consider very important is the protection of the deep ocean: the deep sea floor is a target of the mining industry, and there are few regulations protecting this area.’

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About Bottom Line

This is a 2.5 year project of IUCN NL, Alliance for Tompotika Conservation (AlTo) Indonesia, A Rocha Ghana, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) Philippines, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC), Natuur & Milieu and Stop Ecocide NL, supported by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. Together, this strong coalition will establish a bottom line for responsible mining in four mining-threatened landscapes in Indonesia, Ghana, the Philippines and the international waters of the deep sea. In doing so, we also cooperate with the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO) and various national and international network partners.

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