Mining Stakeholder Report Highlights Environmental, Social and Economic Concerns

image

Environmental, social, economic and workers’ rights issues head up a list of key concerns raised by stakeholders during months of consultations held by the Mining Legislation Reform Institute (MLRI).

The newly released MLRI Stakeholder Report stresses that weak regulation for Environmental Impact Assessments and substandard practices of waste management, mine closures and environmental damage management remain the most pressing environmental issues for civil society when it comes to mining in Armenia.

Stakeholders also prioritized as key concerns the serious shortcomings with the construction and management of tailing dams, neglected and unrehabilitated legacy mines and the potential negative health impacts of mining for the general population.

“The consultation process has been incredibly useful for civil society, allowing multiple opportunities for stakeholders to openly share with us their social and environmental concerns,” said Mr Varant Meguerditchian, Executive Director of the Mining Legislation Reform Institute.

Whilst consensus supported the mining sectors positive contribution to Armenia’s developing economy, stakeholders also noted that sufficient studies have not been undertaken to assess the sectors’ economic impact on other industries such as tourism and agriculture which often compete for access to the same land and human resources as mining.

The need for appropriate tax governance including the introduction of measures designed to minimize tax and royalty avoidance was consistently voiced by civil society representatives during forums and round table discussions.

Participants also sighted workers' rights issues including comparatively low remuneration for domestic workers, few promotion opportunities for domestic staff, poor safety training and practices and a lack of job security resulting from abrupt mine closures.

“This report, supported by our numerous research publications on global mining best practices paves the way for our next phase of activities as we redraft and advocate mining legislation that will strengthen Armenia’s governance of this important economic sector,” said Meguerditchian.

More than 30 civil society organizations, employee representative organizations, and regional representatives were joined by academics in multiple stakeholder forums and round table discussions in an open, transparent and inclusive consultation process.

Commencing in November 2018 the MLRI embarked upon a nationwide stakeholder consultation process to document the key concerns of those most heavily affected by the environmental and social impacts of mining in Armenia. The eight-month stakeholder consultation process culminated in the publication of the MLRI Stakeholder Report in July 2019.

The full report is available in English and Armenian versions and can be downloaded from the MLRI website.

______________________________________________________________________________

The Mining Legislation Reform Institute (MLRI) is a registered Armenian NGO. It seeks to ensure that mining in Armenia provides sufficient benefits to the country and local communities. Its main activities include research, stakeholder consultation, policy development, public education, communications, advocacy, and legislative reform.

The MLRI was previously based at the American University of Armenia’s Center for Responsible Mining. The activities of the MLRI are made possible by funding from the Tufenkian Foundation.

12 July, 2019

Environmental, social, economic and workers’ rights issues head up a list of key concerns raised by stakeholders during months of consultations held by the Mining Legislation Reform Institute (MLRI).

The newly released MLRI Stakeholder Report stresses that weak regulation for Environmental Impact Assessments and substandard practices of waste management, mine closures and environmental damage management remain the most pressing environmental issues for civil society when it comes to mining in Armenia.

parallax