BEFORE A MINING COMPANY IS GIVEN AN APPROVAL TO MINE, IT MUST CONDUCT A THOROUGH ASSESSMENT OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT’S ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPACT.
The environmental impact statement is crucial for governments to decide whether to give a mining project the green light and how to protect local communities and environments from any harm that project may cause.
Thorough, rigorous and verified environmental and social impact assessments ensure that the potential impacts of mining developments are identified before work starts. This enables government authorities to impose conditions to manage these impacts by requiring mining companies to develop and implement effective mitigation plans.
A key part of this process is community consultation.
Mining companies must consult with local communities. They must learn what community members’ concerns are and work effectively to address them.
If mining companies do not communicate clearly with communities, and if they conduct inadequate assessments of the likely environmental and social impacts of their projects, the damage to people’s health, well-being, culture and environments can be significant. Mining companies also stand to suffer damage to their reputation and social licence to operate.
Our research below highlights the lessons we have learned across our global network.
A fairer process for all
Meaningful consultation involves taking the time to identify, involve and work collaboratively with all stakeholders early and throughout the process.
When done properly, it offers an opportunity for people to have a say in how mining projects will impact their land and livelihoods.
However, corruption, poor regulatory systems, and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic can pose significant challenges that limit the effectiveness of these processes.
Our research looks at how companies, governments and community organisations can mitigate these corruption risks and support meaningful community engagement.
HOW ACCOUNTABLE ARE COMPANIES FOR THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPACT?
Properly verifying environmental and social impact assessments ensures that the potential impacts of mining projects are identified before work starts.
This enables government authorities to impose effective conditions on companies to manage these impacts.
This factsheet, available in English, French and Spanish, collates some of the key corruption risks identified in our global research.
How meaningful is community consultation?
Genuine consultation with communities is fundamental to ensure that mining contributes to sustainable development.
Ensuring genuine consultation and negotiations with communities is critical to securing the legitimacy of any mining project.
Corruption undermines the credibility of the consultation process, the resulting agreements and, by extension, a company’s social licence to operate. It can increase conflict between the community and the mining operator, leading to major disruptions to mining activities.
This factsheet, available in English, French and Spanish, collates some of the key corruption risks identified in our global research across 18 jurisdictions.
TI-Australia’s work has explained how a certification scheme can strengthen the environmental impact assessment process.
TI-Canada has analysed the transparency and accountability of environmental impact assessment processes and offers recommendations for improving the process
Impact stories from Transparency International colleagues in Cambodia, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe describe the work to support local community voices and environmental management in mining affected communities,.