Members of the Sudanese Army in Jawa village, in East Jebel Marra (South Darfur), 9 kilometers West Deribat. The area is controled by the Government Forces but most of the population fled some days ago due to the clashes.Photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran / UNAMID
Many of the world’s poorest countries are rich in natural resources. In the absence of democratic control, these resources are being recklessly exploited, destroying local communities and ecosystems, threatening the health of the planet and contributing to the widening gap between rich and poor. Research and awareness-raising SOMO investigates companies and their investors in the agribusiness, energy and extractives sectors with a close eye on the complex web that link these sectors to each other and to numerous social and environmental problems, including human rights violations and armed conflict. In collaboration with partners, we investigate the activities and policies of corporations and financiers involved in large-scale land grabs and destructive agribusiness, extractives, energy and infrastructure projects. We pay particular attention to the conduct of multinational corporations in conflict-affected areas, raising awareness on their role and responsibilities and pushing them to act responsibly and in a conflict-sensitive way. Democratic control over natural resources SOMO advocates transparent and democratic control over natural resources which contributes to more sustainable and people-centred resource use. SOMO supports local communities in claiming and defending human rights, including the right to make decisions about projects affecting their land, known as Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Our research builds the case for a transition towards more democratic systems of energy provision based on sustainable use of natural resources.