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Presenter: Catherine Coumans
Coumans has coordinated corporate accountability research and the Asia-Pacific program at MiningWatch Canada for 20 years. She has worked in solidarity with communities and Indigenous peoples affected by Canadian mining companies in more than ten Asia-Pacific countries and in Tanzania. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology and has published on mining in more than 15 peer reviewed publications since 2008.
Once the realm of science fiction fantasy, the prospect of huge machines being lowered onto fragile deep seabed ecosystems to mine for metals is now only two years away from becoming reality. Coumans’s presentation sets out the historical roots of this expansion of extractivism at a time of acute concern about ocean health, biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. She also discusses how key factors that lead to terrestrial mining’s long lasting harmful impacts are present in this “new” form of mining, even as the nascent industry pitches itself as providing solutions for the green energy transition.