Researchers from the University of Glasgow are leading a new project to develop new approaches to sustainable mining in the Philippines.

The three-year PAMANA project, worth £1.5m, is co-funded by the UK Natural Environmental Research Council and the Philippines Department of Science and Technology.

Pamana is a Filipino word, meaning ‘legacy’ or ‘heritage’. The project aims to provide a holistic understanding of the legacy, present and future environmental and ecological impacts of mining on Philippine river systems.

Their project will result in development of a catchment-based approach in developing policies and strategies to manage mineralised watersheds.

PAMANA is a major international collaboration between the University of Glasgow, Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Hull, University of Exeter, Brunel University London and four Philippine universities.

Global targets for a net zero carbon economy hang on the development of clean energy technologies including wind, solar and electric power that are far more complex than traditional hydrocarbon-based technologies.

For example, a typical electric car requires six times more mineral resources than a conventional car, and an onshore wind plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a gas-fired power plant.

This ‘clean energy transition’ is set to triple global demand for so-called ‘technology critical minerals’ by 2040. However, mining these minerals has an enormous carbon footprint and historical mining has given rise to a variety of environmental and social issues worldwide.

The Philippines, for example, has globally significant deposits of technology critical minerals. A nine-year national moratorium on new mining activities was lifted in April 2021.

This development has heightened interest in how new mining projects can be undertaken more sustainably, minimising environmental impacts while supplying the mineral resources critical to meeting global net-zero targets and mitigating climate change.

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Posted in Opinion, Environment and Sustainability & Education

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