Sustainability, transparency in mining urged

Oct. 21, 2008

Davao City-Sustainable development and transparency are two pillars needed for a responsible mining industry in Mindanao.

Romeo Trono, Conservation International country director, said that there must be an enabling environment for responsible mining.

In his presentation during the recent Mindanao mining consultative forum, he said that there must be transparency through an open dialogue with stakeholders and strict compliance of existing laws. Likewise, there must be strong and effective enforcement of good mining laws.

He added that it is also important to conduct complete environmental and social impact assessment and implement a comprehensive closure and reclamation project.

Sustainable development, respect for IP rights, sharing of mining benefits and strict enforcement of environmental and social provisions are major criteria for responsible mining under the national policy on the revitalization of the mining industry.

Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana, chairman of the Mindanao economic development council (Medco)

said that sustainability in mining should look into the effects and benefits of mining for the next generations to come.

Medco, he said, is urging the national government for the equitable sharing of mining proceeds

through the review of taxation laws. In a resolution signed by the participants at the forum, they noted that they recognized the possibility of sustainable regional development through a strengthened mining industry which can only be done through responsible mining technologies and practices.

Aside from accountable, sustainable development and environment-friendly technology, the resolution also accounts good governance practices and management principles as criteria for responsible mining.

Further, it also states that there must be an environmental stamp of approval and social license given by the community.

Vicente Lao, chairman of the Mindanao business council said that the mining forum enabled participating mining companies to introduce their corporate social responsibility practices.

As a result of the forum, Lao said that they will be organizing a Mindanao working group on mining to address non-compliance of environmental procedures and urge government to ease mining application processes.

He said that the delay in the processing of mining permits has caused investors to speculate rather than engage in the industry.

Lao said that the working group will be private sector-led, including representatives from the government, civil society organizations and environmental groups. Medco

comments powered by Disqus