A new tool to prevent and reduce risks of mining conflicts was launched by Gaia, University of Eastern Finland, Zoï Environment and Kyrgyz Mining Association today in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The objective of the new toolkit is to help the parties to mining activities express their interests and concerns in a constructive way and to identify areas of mutual benefit. This contributes to the prevention or resolution of conflicts and ultimately to the responsible economic and social development.
“Responsible mining activities could have significant impacts on sustainable development. Mining can be a source of employment for local people and a source of state revenue. It may drive economic growth and develop remote areas. However, the remarkable environmental impacts of mining and unequal distribution of the benefits contribute to instability. Mining conflicts work against economic growth and prosperity, and cause severe problems for mining companies, local communities and national economies”, says Pasi Rinne, Chairman of Gaia.
“Corporations in the extraction sector could play a considerable role in catalyzing positive development. Those corporations that have strong ethical codes, commit to corporate social responsibility and report openly and transparently on the social and environmental issues can also strengthen good governance”, says Otto Simonett, Director of Zoï Environment.
For the preparation of the toolkit, research teams from Finland, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan analyzed various cases in Kyrgyzstan where ongoing or planned mining operations have created tensions among the parties. The findings in the field and the technical analyses of the research teams as well as the numerous interviews, site visits and consultations with mining companies and local and national institutions confirm the usefulness of the toolkit, and show that an environmental assessment needs to be complemented by a social assessment and active stakeholder participation.
“A profound understanding of all stakeholder concerns and motivations is essential to the prevention and mediation of conflict. Although this toolkit is based on experiences in Central Asia and makes extensive use of findings from case studies in the region, we consider it globally applicable, within the limitations naturally given by the fact that each case is unique”, says Professor Rauno Sairinen from the University of Eastern Finland.
Read more: The toolkit for Responsible Mining. The toolkit and presentations from the launch event in Bishkek will also soon be available on the project website www.uef.fi/kaivostutkimus/projektit/envsec1.
- Gaia / Pasi Rinne, Chairman of the Board, tel. +41 79 472 6909
- University of Eastern Finland / Rauno Sairinen, Professor, tel. +358 50 442 3146
- Zoï Environment / Otto Simonett, Director, tel. +41 76 42 787 68