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sharing in governance of extractive industries

Promoting integration of environmental and social considerations into development strategies and sector reform in Kenya

In Kenya, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the Kenyan Ministry of Mining (MOM) undertook a comprehensive and participatory Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) in Kenya to assess the quality of environmental administration and governance in the mining sector at the national and community levels; specifically, the proposed coal mining in Mui Basin in Kitui County and the mining of mineral sands in Kwale County.

The SESA was specifically developed to enhance participatory approaches and focused on making recommendations for improving community engagement and participation in mining processes and safeguard human rights principles.

The SESA included a Policies, Plans or Programme (PPP) analysis to determine how national instruments used for the governance of the mining sector in Kenya have integrated the national obligations for environmental sustainability and protection of human rights.  Overall the analysis showed that the governance framework for the mining sector is well configured in terms of environmental sustainability and human rights.

It showed on one hand, that the governance framework in the mining sector, if implemented properly, can lead to women´s empowerment, sustainable development and compensation of mining host communities. On the other hand, the analysis revealed that potential negative impacts from the current governance framework in the mining sector are environmental pollution, deforestation, conflict and loss of critical ecosystems amongst others.

In addition to the PPP analysis, an evaluation of mining projects Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of the process in safeguarding the environment, and provide a platform for stakeholder consultation and involvement in the mining decision making process.  Stakeholder consultations mainly targeted communities where mining is taking place and involved key informant consultations, focus group discussions, dialogue meetings and workshops.

As a result of the consultations and analyses, weaknesses in the mining sector governance frameworks in relation to environmental sustainability and protection of human rights were identified. The SESA report has issued some key recommendations for the processes of environmental administration and governance in the mining sector to bring the practice better in line with the existing frameworks in Kenya.

Recommendations included the strengthening of the mining sector governance framework in order to deal with potential negative environmental and human right impacts. Therefore undertaking a review of some of the draft regulations in order to strengthen the governance framework by integrating specific environment and human rights obligations as well as the development of  additional mining regulations taking into account these concerns were key recommendations.

These recommendations will be discussed in multi-stakeholder workshops and will guide the future implementation of activities in the four pilot countries of the Environmental Governance Program.

If you are interested in joining in on discussions related to environmental governance, human rights and the mining sector, please join the Environmental Governance of the Mining Sector Group. Thank you!

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