IIED, Rio +20, and RESOLVE

Jul 31, 2012

I just saw the report on mining that IIED prepared for Rio+20.  It’s terrific … and well worth reading & forwarding on. It notes that capacity building for both communities and companies is still needed, and I couldn’t agree more. As we continue to navigate the intersection of mining, sustainability, and human rights – and based on my experiences working with communities and mining companies – it’s clear we need to find ways to connect dots, and stakeholders, so that policy is informed by on-the-ground realities.

RESOLVE was mentioned in the report, and the observations from our president, Steve D’Esposito, are also worth flagging:

  • Stephen D’Esposito, now Head of RESOLVE and representative of the NGO sector in the GMI Toronto conference, noted that addressing issues in isolation (such as biodiversity offsets and FPIC) has led to a ‘missed opportunity’ in considering the trade-offs inherent to sustainable development.
  • According to D’Esposito, ‘the incentive structure for civil society has shifted and partnerships with companies are seen as a way to make gains in ways that weren’t as clear before’. He went on to say there have been missed opportunities on issues such as Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, tailings disposal and ‘no go’ areas, which are ‘often framed in black-and-white terms with NGO demands followed by industry reaction or responses.’ This ‘call and response’ dynamic typically prevents constructive engagement.

RESOLVE is committed to enabling constructive engagement, and helping stakeholders identify and seize opportunities. Through our efforts to improve FPIC implementation, and address supply chain and other sustainable development challenges, we hope to contribute to the emerging guidance and good-practice case studies that IIED calls for in the coming decade.

- Kate Kopischke

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