El Salvador is first nation to ban metal mining

Signal of change / El Salvador is first nation to ban metal mining

By Alisha Bhagat / 08 Jun 2017

The government of El Salvador unanimously voted to ban the mining of metals within the country, becoming the first nation to do so. Support for the ban is due to the link between mining and water contamination. A fight to protect El Salvador's scarce water resources has been ongoing for several years. The country is the most densely populated in South America and many communities rely on scarce water resources to meet their needs. More than 90% of surface water is already contaminated due to unsustainable farming and mining practices. The victory is seen as landmark as the long term interests of the people, for water security, were able to win out over large mining corporations.

So what?

Water scarcity is becoming increasingly common and conflicts between citizens desiring access to clean drinking water and corporations are popping up around the globe. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is another high profile case demonstrating the impact of water contamination on a community. Clean water is both a Sustainable Development Goal as well as a trend on this site (Water Scarce World). As population rises and citizens mobilise, there may be more countries that follow El Salvador's lead. 



What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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