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  • Writer's pictureLatitude Five

Responsible Sourcing and Traceability of Critical Raw Materials

On 14 November 2023, Ludivine Wouters participated in a workshop on Responsible Sourcing and Traceability of Critical Raw Materials (CRM) organised by the International Raw Materials Observatory (INTRAW), the Initiative on Forensic Geology of the International Union of Geological Sciences, and the European Federation of Geologists as a satellite event to the EU Raw Materials Week 2023 in Brussels.

The workshop recap and recording are available on INTRAW's website. Many thanks to INTRAW for the always-on-point convening, moderation and discussion and to Mieke Thierens, Researcher on Natural Resources, Business and Human Rights with the International Peace Information Service (IPIS) for our conversation about "Balancing Criticality and Responsibility in Mineral Value Chains", which is the stated intention of EU policy and regulation on minerals, including principles for engagement with resource-rich third countries as well as evolving industrial strategies.

We touched on how responsible sourcing features in the European regulatory context, what are the trends in terms of accountability and what this entails for European actors including industry, focusing on the effectiveness of such approaches: what is the impact we ambition with regulation and does it match real-life outcomes in producing countries so far ? On both sides of the equation we identified active or impacted parties (who) and their interests or stakes in responsible sourcing (why), and considered what is needed to make producing countries and communities real partners (what) in responsible sourcing rather than the subject of often distant policy choices. Our discussion integrated very topical insights from IPIS’ report on The EU Conflict Minerals Regulation: High stakes, disappointing results.


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