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International humanitarian relief and development organization Oxfam America and environmental advocacy group EARTHWORKS are announcing a new and exciting phase of their joint efforts to promote reforms of the environmental and social practices of the global mining and oil industries. Since 2004, the two organizations have partnered in the highly successful "No Dirty Gold" campaign (NDG), which has sought to raise the human rights and environmental standards of the global mining industry. The campaign has enlisted the support of 30 of the world's leading jewelry companies for the campaign's "Golden Rules" human rights and environmental standards for more responsible precious metals production. In addition, 100,000 people from around the world have signed the campaign's pledge calling for more responsibly produced gold. The campaign has also helped catalyze the creation of the Initiative for Responsible Mining (IRMA, www.responsiblemining.net), an effort by NGOs, mining companies and jewelry retailers to develop a third-party, independent system for verifying environmental and social practices at large-scale mines.
The two organizations now seek to build on the unprecedented success of No Dirty Gold (NDG) and take on even greater challenges. EARTHWORKS will assume the management of NDG, and will continue to raise concerns about irresponsible practices at mine sites around the world as well as document progress towards best practices (see www.nodirtygold.org for more information). Oxfam America will intensify its work in this sector by launching a new initiative focused on the theme "Right to Know/Right to Decide," which will seek to empower local communities by calling on mining and oil companies to fully respect communities' basic rights to participate in decision-making and to fully disclose money they pay to foreign governments. Such information is a crucial first step for ensuring that governments use these funds to reduce poverty and protect human rights. Later this spring, EARTHWORKS will also be launching a new effort to pressure companies extracting fuel minerals to implement best practices and policies that protect communities and our climate.
Oxfam America and EARTHWORKS look forward to this new direction and as they pursue their shared goals of helping protect communities and the environment from irresponsible natural resource extraction. The two organizations invite all current supporters and anyone interested in reducing the negative impacts of the global oil, gas and mining industries to join in these efforts to promote industry reform.