This session seeks an open discussion on the environmental and human impacts of critical raw material extraction in and around vulnerable areas. The High Andean wetlands, located in and around the lithium triangle in Latin America, are extremely fragile ecosystems that reflect their complex and unique hydrological systems. They are highly productive, veritable oases of vital importance for biodiversity and the wellbeing of local communities. Due to lithium extraction, enormous quantities of water are being lost every year, and underground freshwater reserves are in danger of salinisation by coming into contact with brine.
Our interactive session explores this complex issue: the environmental and human impacts of raw materials extraction in vulnerable areas. It also considers potential solutions such as more representation of local communities and supply chains free of wetland degradation and ecosystem conversion.