THE CDCA MISSION
The CDCA – Documentation Centre on Environmental Conflicts, now an autonomous non profit organisation, was founded in October 2007 by the Italian Association “A Sud”. Its mission is to research and provide information about both the causes of the environmental conflicts produced by the exploitation of natural resources, and its consequences. These often include a disregard for local communities rights - particularly in the world’s Southern hemisphere.
By offering first-hand information and localised data, the CDCA also plans to spur public interest and discussion in Italy and the EU about policies carried out by International financial institutions, and issues of social justice – by giving voice to the local communities and social movements who often have little access to mainstream media.
The CDCA’s overarching goal is to bring the Northern and Southern regions of today’s world together through the process of reciprocal understanding and knowledge sharing.
WHAT IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL CONFLICT?
An environmental conflict is a particular social conflict characterised by:
A. The qualitative or quantitative reduction of available environmental resources (water, biodiversity, arable land, raw materials and other finite common goods) due to the imposition of profitable projects by multinational companies and/or inappropriate policies by Governments, International financial organisations.
B. The escalation of protests by local residents and/or larger opposition movements in civil society, in an effort to protect the environment, common goods and people’s rights.
WHY THIS FOCUS ON ENVIRONMENTAL CONFLICTS?
Because the global landscape is facing an increased level of environmental and social conflicts that threaten the culture, lifestyles and often the existence of many local communities, particularly in the world’s Southern hemisphere.
Often these conflicts are a symptomatic manifestation of global models of economic development based on the exploitation of natural resources, disregard for people’s rights and lack of social justice.
Giving voice to these communities (especially toward the Western world) and explaining the details of these conflicts helps them regain power in the decision-making process and create a model of active democracy enabling them to help protect their own territory and environment.
RESEARCH PROJECTS CARRIED BY THE CDCA
The main activities carried out by the Documentation Centre on Environmental Conflicts (CDCA) include monitoring, archiving and informing the general public about the causes and consequences of socio-environmental conflicts taking place particularly in South America, Africa and Asia.
The case studies selected by the CDCA’s are based on their relevance and features, key resources (water, biodiversity, hydrocarbon, forests, mines) and organised under four categories: Causes of Conflict, Social and environmental Impact(s), Conflict chronology, Stakeholders.
SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE CDCA
In its Rome headquarters, the CDCA hosts a national public library including a variety of (mostly unreleased) documents produced by local research centres and independent organisations.
The CDCA website provides free and easy access to various archives, document collections and a database with over a hundred environmental conflict cases studies. While the website is in Italian, a number of case studies and other content will soon be available in English.
The CDCA also hosts public events (book presentations, photo exhibitions, lectures, etc.) with authors, researchers and activists from all over the world. It also provides education and training services for teachers, students, and professionals on different topics, particularly well suited for local administrators and trade unions representatives.
The CDCA is part of the European network CEECEC – Civil Society Engagement with Ecological Economics - which includes academics, researchers and lobbyists and is now part of the EJOLT project (Environmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade).
CDCA - Documentation Centre on Environmental Conflicts Largo Vittorio Gassman, 2 00197 Rome, Italy
Opening Hours: 10am-5pm, Monday-Friday