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Transition Minerals: Energy Transition, Nickel Extraction and Territorial Injustices in Guatemala

SPEAKER: Guadalupe García Prado, Observatorio de Industrias Extractivas (OIE)

DISCUSSANT: Dr. Karolien van Teijlingen (Radboud University)

CHAIR: Hannah Porada (CEDLA)

DATE: Monday, November 20, 2023

TIME: 15.30 - 17.00, followed by drinks and snacks


ORGANIZATION: CEDLA and NALACS in collaboration with OIE

VENUE: CEDLA Room 2.02 (2nd floor)

Guadalupe García Prado is an anthropologist and the director of the Extractive Industries Observatory in Guatemala (Observatorio de Industrias Extractivas). From a multidisciplinary approach, she has conducted research to support local communities in their demands against the state and mining corporations. Guadalupe's main concerns are the relationships between global investment, local communities, and the environment. With the desire to contribute to the democratization of information and knowledge, she strives to address extractivism with an ethical-political commitment rooted in permanent reflection and learning.

Dr. Karolien van Teijlingen is a critical geographer and engaged scholar based in The Netherlands and Ecuador. She currently works as an assistant professor at the Anthropology and Development Studies department of Radboud University Nijmegen. Karolien’s research, teaching and activism focuses on the conflicts and dilemmas related to extractivist development models, climate change and the energy transition, and questions of socio-ecological justice. Next to her teaching, she carries out a research project on the geographies of Net-Zero and climate justice in the Amazon region. Her PhD research focussed on territorial transformation and conflicts related to the expansion of large-scale mineral mining in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Karolien is also part of various collectives, including the Critical Geography Collective of Ecuador.

Hannah Porada is a PhD researcher based at CEDLA at the University of Amsterdam. In her ongoing research she investigates the cases of gas extraction in The Netherlands and the mining of construction materials in Guatemala from a political ecology perspective. Her research interests relate to issues of extractivism, environmental and social justice struggles, water governance and justice, and social movement alliance building.

The theme revolves around energy transition, nickel extraction and territorial injustices in Guatemala. Guadalupe García Prado (Director of the Extractive Industries Observatory in Guatemala) and Karolien van Teijlingen (Assistant Professor at Radboud University) will discuss the need and obstacles for a just energy transition amid the failure and implied injustices of our current energy models.They will also reflect on the challenges of transitioning to non-fossil fuel energy sources as it may lead to increased mineral extraction and exacerbate social and environmental issues on the ground. As a case study, Guadalupe García Prado will focus on nickel extraction in Guatemala. Embedding the case of Guatemala in the wider global and historical context, she will flesh out how the push for ‘clean energy technologies’ drives the extraction of critical and strategic minerals, impacting local communities through biodiversity loss, threats to livelihoods, water source depletion, health problems, and extraction-related violence.

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