sharing in governance of extractive industries
Welcome to the Environmental Governance Group of the Mining Sector Group (EGMS). Please introduce yourself to everyone else here and tell us why you joined!
Please check out the FAQ Page for more information on how to navigate this group and how to contribute to discussions and add resources.
Jasmin Blessing, EGMS Community Manager
Welcome to the Environmental Governance of the Mining Sector Group! We would love for you to introduce yourself here. Tell us a little bit about yourself - where you are from, what organization do you work for and finally, why did you join this group?
It’s a Great pleasure for me joining this group,
My name is Josimar Biosse. I’m from Mozambique and I’m working at Agência Nacional para o Controlo da Qualidade Ambiental (AQUA) – National Agency for Environmental Quality Control.
This Agency, which responds to the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development (MITADER), was created in 2010. But recently this year (2016) it has undergone some great changes in its assignments. Now it includes:
A) Development of research that indicates the levels of contamination or environmental pollution and guarantee of interpretation of data of the main environmental components in the scope of the sustainable development of the natural resources, terrestrial and marine-coastal;
B) The adoption and implementation of measures to improve research, monitoring, audit and quality control of the environment;
C) Supervision or monitoring of the use of the land, the implementation of land-use or spatial planning instruments, the exploitation and use of forest resources and environmental quality control.
And this environmental quality control also includes the monitoring of the environmental impacts of socio-economic development activities, including mining activities. (Uff, such a long sentence…)
So, we are a small group, designed to be big, and therefore facing great challenges.
I hope that through this platform we can share our ideas, experiences, points of view, etc, etc.
So, let’s work!!!
Hi Josimar !
Welcome to our group, great to have you here. I know that you will take part in our global workshop in Stockholm that starts in a few weeks. What do you hope to learn from it and which are the main challenges in the environmental public admininistration of the mining sector in Mozambique, that you are facing in Aqua ?
Looking forward to meeting you soon !
About the global workshop, i'd like to know much more about the EGP. And rather than "just" what can we benefit from it, i'd like to see how I as individual, we (AQUA) as a public institution, and why not, we as a country (Moz) can contribute to this program. Looking at the Agenda seems that there is a lot of work involved in this. I'd love to see how other countries are overcoming their challenges and what are the plans for 2017. So that we can bring these experiences and contributions to Mozambique. Find addictional comments about our challenges and experiences within AQUA and in Moz, below. Therefore, i've got a very good feeling about this.
Hope to see you there
I am Felipe Lesmes from Colombia and I'm very happy to join you.
About me, I have a bachelor in economics and a MSc in Social Policy and Development. For more than six years I have worked in the Colombian government on the design and implementation of public policies to assist and repair the victims of the war in the country and, although more academically, I have studied and analyzed the relationship between environment and war in Colombia, from its onset to the peacebuilding process.
I recently joined the UNDP team in Colombia as an advocacy specialist for environmental policy. Currently, among other things, we are working on a couple of projects related to the social and environmental impacts of mining in the country, more specifically in the Chocó region in the Pacific coast, where the most of the mining exploitation is illegal and has many negative impacts on the health of the most vulnerable communities, on the biodiversity of the region and as a trigger of violence between armed groups that control the ilegal market of gold and platinum.
I joined the group encouraged by Sanna and Thifanny to share my doubts and ideas about the assessment and inclusion of the principles of human rights and rule-of-law in the mining sector, more specifically, in Colombia we will evaluate those principles on the environmental licencing process for mining projects.
I'm looking forward to participating in the discussions you have and I hope to contribute a lot.
Thank you for joining the Environmental Governance of the Mining Sector Group and for introducing yourself to the members. We recently published a blog post on GOXI on the Rule of Law Assessment of Environmental Public Administration in Co.... We are eager to hear your thoughts and ideas about the assessment of the environmental licensing process for mining projects in the Chocó region of Colombia. You can start a discussion right here in the Discussion Forum of this Group by adding a title (Rule of Law Assessment of Environmental Licensing for Mining in Colombia, for example) and your thoughts in the text box. For more guidance on how to do so, please refer to the FAQ Page. Your discussion would be featured in our next Newsletter. Thank you and we look forward to learning from your experiences!
Tiffany Challe, EGMS Community Manager
Dear Josimar and Felipe,
Yes, welcome to this GOXI Group!
As Sanna, suggested, it would be great to hear more about some of the challenges and innovative work going on in your countries. Hopefully, we can work together to address these challenges and share some of your successful results both in Stockholm and over the coming weeks.
Looking forward to learning from your experiences in both Mozambique and Colombia.
Well, indeed there are many challenges. I’m just going to highlight some.
Last year (2015) during an environmental auditing campaign performed by AQUA, we realized that some companies (perhaps many) in the mining sector are under the management of foreigners. And although they always have a local partner, they don’t have much knowledge about the law and the procedures to avoid/minimize damages to the environment.
So, we recommended that they must have an environmental sector within the company, to take care of the issues related to environmental procedures. We hope that by intensifying the environmental monitoring activities, we can overcome this challenge.
AQUA, as a public institution was expected (when it was created) to deal with environmental quality control “using” an environmental lab. This lab would help in the analysis of air, water, and soil quality.
And at this point I’ll go back to 2015. When working in the province of Manica, we saw a river with a “strange” color. Perhaps you have heard about it. It’s Revue River. The locals like calling it the Chocolate River (due to its color, I think I have a picture somewhere, I’ll show you). This river was “contaminated” by the mining activity. The question that emerged: is this river contaminated by legal mining activities (big companies or small associations created by locals) or illegal mining activities (some unauthorized groups, perhaps using unhealthy methods in the process of gold exploitation)? Up to this day I really don’t know the answer.
But here’s what I think that might be a solution. If we could analyze the water (including the river flow), the air (because there is also the dust problem) and the soil, showing real data and results through the environmental lab (which we don’t have, yet), this surely would be a great step in the decision making process. At this moment we don’t have the required equipment and ability to proceed with this analysis. Of course you all know that African problem: lack of resources. But that’s another talk.
What about your countries? How do you address the issue of foreign companies causing damages to the environment? Do you have environmental labs to proceed with the analysis of environmental components? And even if you have these labs, after collecting data and showing results, how do you take action to convince the stakeholders in order to do something about the issue of environmental pollution due to mining activities?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Again, let’s work!!!
Thank you for your detailed and illustrated description of challenges your organization, AQUA and your country of Mozambique face, Josimar Biosse! The issue of foreign companies causing damage to the environment is certainly a cause for concern and is a key topic to start discussions here. Feel free to copy and paste this very content in a new discussion thread so that other members can contribute and answer your questions as well. Just click on "Add a Discussion" at the bottom of the Discussion Forum, add a title and copy and paste same content here in the text box. Thank you for your contribution!
Thank you. I'll do it right away.
We have a GOXI rock star here! :)
Dear Jacinta ,
Welcome to the Environmental Governance of the Mining Sector Group! Jacinta is a Gender and Extractive Industries Specialist at UN Women.
Please introduce yourself to the members in this thread and tell us what you hope to accomplish in joining this group and what topics you would like to share information on. Thank you!