The impacts of mining on the food sovereignty and security of Indigenous Peoples and local communities: A global review

Graziela Dias Blanco, Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, Gabriela Dias Blanco, Janelle Baker, Mario Sergio M. Tagliari, Maiara Albuquerque Hayata, Mari Lucia Campos, Natalia Hanazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Mineral extraction areas represent an environmental, social, and also a food sovereignty challenge for several countries. Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLC) are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of mining activities, particularly those that affect their lands and waters. At the global level, scientific evidence on the impacts of mining on the food sovereignty of IPLC is meagre, scattered, and fragmented across disciplines and geographic regions. This study aims to assess whether factors such as mining, trace elements contamination, social inequality, lack of environmental deficitary environmental policy and practice, and socio-environmental conflicts directly impact the food sovereignty of IPLC worldwide. Through a comprehensive literature review of 403 articles, we mapped globally the impacts of mining activities on the food sovereignty of IPLC. Our results reveal that the combination of mining, social inequality and weak environmental strategies impinge negatively on the food sovereignty of IPLC. A hundred and six articles reviewed contained a detailed ecotoxicological analysis of food resources used by IPLC in mining areas. Of all documented species, 52.9 % were vascular plants, 40.3 % were fish and 6.8 % were mammals, presenting substantial scientific evidence of the contamination of food systems of IPLC as a direct result of mining. Given the magnitude of the evidence presented in this review, we propose strategic policy actions to address the impacts of mining on IPLC food sovereignty, such as the strengthening of social, cultural, and environmental safeguards in the mining sector, which should include provisions for the protection of the food systems of IPLC and their culturally-valued food resources, as well as monitoring of contaminant concentrations in the environment and in culturally-valued food resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number158803
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan. 2023


  • Ecotoxicology
  • Ethnoecology
  • Food security
  • Mining
  • Rural communities


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