Resource Politics and Resource Fairness

The unequal distribution of natural resources between countries and regions has for decades led to conflicting interests and tensions. On the one hand, countries that do not have large reserves of raw materials have a crucial interest in gaining access to resources and securing supplies of raw materials at favourable prices through international trade relations and foreign investment. On the other hand, resource-rich countries pursue the goal of maximising revenues from raw materials and using resource wealth to promote development. The exploitation of natural resources is often a key factor in triggering, escalating or sustaining violent conflict at the national, regional and international level. Tensions also arise within resource-rich countries with regard to the social and ecological impacts of raw material extraction and trade. Extraction is often related to serious impacts on the living conditions of the local population. This may lead to contradictory interests and conflicts between local communities and national development strategies.

In this context ÖFSE focuses on international resource policies and their influence on resource fairness. It analyses international policies and regulatory initiatives in the raw materials sector, such as EU raw materials policy, initiatives on conflict minerals, due diligence and transparency initiatives.

In order to promote an inter- and transdisciplinary debate on the issue of equity and access to natural resources, ÖFSE is a scientific advisor to the Working Group on Natural Resources and co-initiator of the transdisciplinary dialogue process on sustainable natural resource policies.

As part of the Resource Equity Research Platform, ÖFSE organised two international conferences on this topic in December 2014 and February 2019. Furthermore, ÖFSE staff members organised and spoke at numerous events on topics such as the raw materials transition, electromobility, mining accidents and more.

In various publications, ÖFSE also provides analyses in the field of international raw materials policy.

For more information contact:

Karin Küblböck

Ms. Karin Küblböck
Senior Researcher
Tel.: +43 1 317 40 10 – 111  
more information

Aktueller Kommentar zu Thema:

Konfliktmineralien - Der steinige Weg zu höherer Rechenschaftspflicht im Rohstoffsektor

Nach drei Jahren kontroversieller Diskussion soll im März 2017 die EU Konfliktmineralienverordnung endlich in Kraft treten. Obschon lückenhaft, stellt sie einen Schritt nach vorne dar. Zu befürchten ist allerdings, dass die neue Trump-Regierung die mit dem Dodd-Frank Gesetz erzielten Fortschritte rückgängig macht. Das bliebe auch für die EU nicht ohne Konsequenzen.

Karin Küblböck und Hannes Grohs (ÖFSE), Februar 2017


Publications on the topic: