sharing in governance of extractive industries

The topic starts with "Challenges". I’m just going to highlight some. (Let the movie start!!!)

Last year (2015) during an environmental auditing campaign performed by AQUA, we realized that some companies (perhaps many) in the mining sector are under the management of foreigners. And although they always have a local partner, they don’t have much knowledge about the law and the procedures to avoid/minimize damages to the environment.

So, we recommended that they must have an environmental sector within the company, to take care of the issues related to environmental procedures. We hope that by intensifying the environmental monitoring activities, we can overcome this challenge.

AQUA, as a public institution was expected (when it was created) to deal with environmental quality control “using” an environmental lab. This lab would help in the analysis of air, water, and soil quality.

And at this point I’ll go back to 2015. When working in the province of Manica, we saw a river with a “strange” color. Perhaps you have heard about it. It’s Revue River. The locals like calling it the Chocolate River (due to its color, I think I have a picture somewhere, I’ll show you). This river was “contaminated” by the mining activity. The question that emerged: is this river contaminated by legal mining activities (big companies or small associations created by locals) or illegal mining activities (some unauthorized groups, perhaps using unhealthy methods in the process of gold exploitation)? Up to this day I really don’t know the answer.

But here’s what I think that might be a solution. If we could analyze the water (including the river flow), the air (because there is also the dust problem) and the soil, showing real data and results through the environmental lab (which we don’t have, yet), this surely would be a great step in the decision making process. At this moment we don’t have the required equipment and ability to proceed with this analysis. Of course you all know that African problem: lack of resources. But that’s another talk.

What about your countries? How do you address the issue of foreign companies causing damages to the environment? Do you have environmental labs to proceed with the analysis of environmental components? And even if you have these labs, after collecting data and showing results, how do you take action to convince the stakeholders in order to do something about the issue of environmental pollution due to mining activities?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Again, let’s work!!!

"Chocolate River", Revue River in Manica, Mozambique

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