There is an urgent need for better national and international rules in order to eradicate these abuses. Canada needs to be a leader in this area because 75% of all mining companies are headquartered there.

Canadians need to know that Canadian corporate behaviour in the Amazon will impact global climate and right now they are enabling the forest’s destruction, which will lead to more warming globally. 

Gaia Amazonas has worked in the Amazon Rainforest for decades hand in hand with Indigenous communities, to strengthen and support Indigenous self-governments that protect the socio-cultural, economic and ecological systems in the forest. But it is well established that one of the biggest threats facing the Amazon is mining, and a large portion of mining companies are headquartered in Canada. 

In fact, 75% of all mining companies in the world are headquartered in Canada and the intrusion of Canadian mining corporations has led to human rights violations while also threatening natural and cultural systems. A fact that only 60% of Canadians are aware of.

While few Canadians are currently aware about the link between Canada and international mining, once they find out they believe strongly that it’s our responsibility to ensure that Canadian mining companies do better. 80% polled believe that, and another 78% cited human rights as a top concern and that we should do everything we can to stop abuses—even if that means it’s more expensive to do work in other countries.

We need a mechanism in place to monitor and govern the behaviour of Canadian companies in other countries, a fact that 78% of Canadians agree with.

Because of that, Indigenous communities from the Amazon working with Gaia Amazonas have decided that part of their strategy to protect and preserve the Amazon requires taking action in Canada.

For example, a company called Cosigo Resources Ltd. (‘Cosigo’) has been exploring for gold in the Colombian Amazon within the territory of the Yaigojé Apaporis people for the last 15 years. They  have exhibited a pattern of bad behaviour that is reckless and undermines local communities in the Amazon and their behaviour underlines the importance of regulating companies like Cosigo doing business in the Amazon and elsewhere. Exposing bad actors like Cosigo sends a message to all mining companies, their shareholders and investors that this is not a good investment and will deter other actors while directly intervening with this particular example.

Learn more about Cosigo Resources – a case study for what not to do.