sharing in governance of extractive industries
The Governance of Extractive Industries (Goxi) Learning Series was one of our flagship events. This initiative was a partnership between the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, UNDP, the NBSAP Forum and GOXI. The 7 month learning series covered environmental governance as well as social and environmental conflict topics, linked to mining, oil and gas. Each month of the learning series was dedicated to a theme, featuring news, a blog, tweets, and webinars highlighting cases and subject matter experts. If you missed any webinars you can still catch them on YouTube using the links below.
The first webinar on Environmental Governance of the Mining Sector, “Mainstreaming Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Human Rights into the Mining Sector”, held once in English and in Spanish, brought together 269 people from across the world. The webinar explored strategies to mitigate negative effects of mining on human rights, introducing the ecosystem services framework. The webinar focused also on the environmental licensing functions and tasks of government institutions at the national and regional level. Using Colombia as a case study, the role of government agencies in promoting good governance and preventing environmental harm in the mining sector was analyzed.
Participants raised thought provoking questions about environmental impact assessments, balancing economic development with environmental impacts, as well as the ecosystems and wellbeing framework. For example, one participant asked, “does the economic benefit of mining justify the environmental damage?” The dangers facing human rights defenders in the extractive sector were also raised by participants.
The second webinar, “Management of Mining Waste and Design for Closure” provided an overview of mining waste management, with a special focus on the need to ensure safe and orderly closure once mining has ceased. The webinars were held in English, Spanish and Portuguese and brought together almost 100 participants. They touched upon human rights issues related to mining waste management and mine closure and how harm and conflict can be prevented, and what that implies in terms of governance. Case studies from Mozambique and Brazil were used as a starting point to share experiences. An important case study presented in the webinar was the Mariana dam break, Brazil’s worst environmental disaster, and how Brazil responded.
The third webinar “Environmental Monitoring Part 1: The fundamentals and access to information” held in English and Spanish provided a broad overview of environmental monitoring in mining. 60 people gathered virtually to discuss relevant human rights principles, and the need for environmental monitoring during each stage of a mining project, from planning to post-closure. A case study from Mongolia was highlighted; the discussion that followed explored community-based monitoring and the role community monitoring can play in conflict reduction and mitigation.
The fourth webinar, “Meaningful Stakeholder Involvement in Decision-making Processes” provided a broad overview of meaningful stakeholder engagement and why it matters. This webinar was held in English and brought together over 60 participants. We explored tools that can be use to develop effective strategies to integrate stakeholder engagement into the environmental management of mining. A case study from Kenya was used to start discussions. A key issue identified was free, prior and informed consent, a concept about bottom up participation and consultation of an indigenous population prior to development of a project.
The fifth webinar “Environmental Monitoring, Part II: Can participatory environmental monitoring committees empower citizens to shape decision-making?” was a sequel to “Environmental Monitoring Part I - The fundamentals and access to information.” This webinar was held in English and Spanish and brought together 103 participants from 37 countries. The webinars explored the work of community-based environmental monitoring committees, looking at the role of committees, their strengths and the challenges they face. We addressed the question of whether the committees can empower citizens to shape decision-making on mining in their areas and be a tool to prevent conflict from escalating. Cases from Peru and Mongolia were shared and discussed.
The sixth webinar “The Role of Government in Preventing or Enabling Conflict in the Extractive Sector” held in English and Spanish explored the role and responsibility of governments in mitigating, preventing and transforming conflict associated with mining, oil and gas, bringing together 110 people from 23 countries. The webinar focused on how governments can help prevent the escalation of conflict related to mining, oil and gas. Findings from a new study on this topic were shared, and two cases in Peru and Colombia were examined where governments developed stronger institutional capacity to prevent conflict and address systemic causes. A key take away of the webinar was that conflict does not always have negative outcomes, it can be transformed into opportunities for sustainable development, if managed constructively.
The Goxi Learning Series concluded with our April webinar “Using Social and Environmental Safeguards and Grievance Mechanisms as Tools to Prevent Harm in the Extractive Sector”. This webinar, held in English and Spanish, involved 100 participants from 30 countries. This webinar focused on the global landscape of social and environmental standards, and the grievance mechanisms that underlie them as well as the role of these standards and mechanisms in preventing and addressing conflict in the mining, oil and gas sectors. The English webinar discussed the Oyu Tolgoi case, where herders reached a historic agreement with one of the world’s largest copper mines. Read more about this interesting case here. The Spanish webinar explored the Yanacoacha case from Peru.
Check out all the materials produced by the Goxi Learning Series.
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