Mining and Stakeholder Participation
It is a significant challenge to bring mining within an operational framework for sustainable and equitable development. The challenge does not, for the most part, stem from the need to reconcile naive interpretations of sustainable development with the use of non-renewable resources. Rather, it stems from the need to make mining compatible with social goals such as human rights, good governance, and community stability. In the hemispheric context, these goals have been recendy recognized by the assembled Mining Ministers of the Americas, as well as by the leaders of the Western Hemisphere. The last quarter of the 20th century saw environmental protection become an imperative for the mining industry. The industry, or at least large parts of it, responded well enough that it is now possible to speak of environmentally sustainable mining. The first quarter of the 21st century is likely to see an equal or even stronger imperative toward socially sustainable mining. Just as with environmental imperatives, social imperatives will be many and varied. The broad goal may be a sustainable and equitable mining industry, but that term conflates a huge range of challenges, among them:
1 Cristina Echevarria, Archaeology-Geology (BA, Bristol, UK) and Social Science and Education (MSc, Nova, USA), is the Director of the International Development Research Centre’s Mining Policy Research Initiative. 2 David Brooks is a Senior Research Fellow with the International Development Research Centre’s Mining Policy Research Initiative. 3 Gordon Peeling is the CEO of the Mining Association of Canada (MAC), which works to promote corporate citizenship among their members through joint action, education and policy analysis.