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Mining And Protected Areas: Working Hard Towards Environmental Risk Reduction And Net Social Profit - Perspectives From Civil Society

Description: 

It is clear that the balance between private sector interest, societal interest and conservation interest within Protected Areas is different from that outside of these Protected Areas. Within the Protected Area’s the conservation interest should have extra weight. In order to arrive at a strengthened Protected Area system (state, private or community managed) the following actions are urgently needed:


  1. Promote the use of national level digital cadasters that show all extractive and plantation concessions (in order to a) stimulate cross sectoral dialogue on strategic land use planning and b) avoid competing land-use claims). These digital cadasters should be in the public domain.
  2. Broaden the legal basis for No-Go areas beyond WHS to IUCN Protected Areas Management Categories I to IV.
  3. Dramatically increase the field level (legal, performance standards) compliance monitoring capacity. Strengthen both formal and NGO driven / crowd sourced monitoring systems and do this at the global level. Encourage use of open source technologies.
  4. Enhance effectiveness of the EIA and SEA tool (process transparency, implementation monitoring). Impact assessments should include land use change modeling to have a good overview of the real impacts of the sector in the wider landscape.
  5. Strengthen efforts towards the implementation of a global Responsible Mining Index.
  6. Legal requirements or at least binding commitments by the private sector to apply best social and environmental practices in their operations inside or impacting on Protected Areas
Problem, challenge or context: 

To meet the growing global demand for abiotic resources (minerals, metals, fossil fuels), an extractive industry boom is driving an unprecedented expansion of mining exploration/exploitation and accompanying infrastructure into sparsely populated areas. As a consequence, the global protected area system and high conservation value areas are increasingly threatened by overlapping claims from the industry. The desire of the host governments to benefit from such an increase in demand is completely legitimate, but not without risks. In the absence of coherent policies and institutionalized (legal and performance standard) compliance monitoring, the hopes for eagerly awaited inclusive development may never be achieved and extractive industry related human rights violations will keep rising. We observe that in most of the countries with a booming mining sector, tools such as SEA, EIA, Due Diligence Guidance and Environmental Performance Standards, set-up to enhance governance and offer ecosystem protection, fail to function as intended - due to lack of compliance monitoring & enforcement.

Specific elements of components: 
  1. Opaqueness surrounding the governance of Extractive Industries contracts & concessions,
  2. Non-compliance with many national rules and regulations designed to govern the extractive industries sector & non-compliance to international performance standards.
  3. As good as no independent, systematic & long term (legal) compliance monitoring,
  4. Weak legal position and poor implementation of protected areas in national policy and legislation as compared to the position of mineral and hydrocarbon resources.
Key lessons learned: 
  1. Opaqueness surrounding the governance of Extractive Industries contracts & concessions,
  2. Non-compliance with many national rules and regulations designed to govern the extractive industries sector & non-compliance to international performance standards,
  3. As good as no independent, systematic & long term (legal) compliance monitoring, and
  4. Weak legal position and poor implementation of protected areas in national policy and legislation as compared to the position of mineral and hydrocarbon resources.
Contact details: 
Mark van der Wal; IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands
Region: 
Language: 
English
Attachment: 
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