9.10 Stakeholder Consultation and Participation

Fully successful and sustainable EI sector management depends upon the participation of all key stakeholders – parliament, government, industry, civil society, and IFIs. While objectives and focus may differ among stakeholder groups, constructive and successful models of collaboration are emerging.

Identification of stakeholders, their consultation, and participation in reform or good governance agendas across all links of the EI value chain has proven critical to the successful management of the EI sectors and their impacts. In conflict areas this has proven a particular challenge (see Chapter 2, Box 2.1: Conflict).
 

9.10.1  Who are the Stakeholders?

The principal stakeholders in the EI value chain have been suggested or described in the preceding chapters of the Source Book. Each deserves to be consulted in any matter with an important bearing on EI management, and each, at the same time, should be expected to contribute to the process, playing different but complementary roles: 

Parliament. Ideally responsive to, and representative of the differing strands of public opinion, parliaments can play a unique role in identifying consensus policies and legislation. They should be consulted on all key issues, but at the same time expected to participate through the legislative and parliamentary oversight processes.

Government.  The resource-rich government’s role is central – preparing policies, drafting legislation, enforcing and managing. Consultation with each group affected by its actions will increase the likelihood of their acceptance and sustainability.  Investor home country governments can also play an important role in promoting or enforcing good governance practice on the part of its companies.

Industry.  Beyond its investment and commercial operations roles industry should be reaching out to the societal groups its operations most affect with consultations on its plans and performance, and informational programs, and strictly observing good practice codes on its social and environmental impacts.  Industry has specific.

Employees.  These are the people who do the work on the ground, and it is through their efforts that successes are achieved. Feedback from employee experience straight from the 'coalface' can be invaluable.  Employees may also be represented via trade unions for the purposes of collective bargaining and protection.

Civil Society. Informed civil society can play a central role in educating and building local capacity to assess government sector policies and practice as well as industry performance and impacts, holding government’s and industry’s 'feet to the fire' where inappropriate behavior or abuse is detected. 

IFIs. IFI’s can use both technical assistance and the leverage of their lending to encourage good practice.

 

9.10.2  Alliances

A relatively recent but very promising development is the growing number of multi-stakeholder groups, formed to address sector issues jointly, thereby considerably increasing the likelihood of consensus and sustainable policies and actions.
 

9.10.3 Especially Vulnerable Groups

Separate consultations should be held by companies and NGOs with the poorest and most vulnerable groups in the community, including women’s groups and youth groups, to find out directly from them how the operation is impacting their lives and their concerns and needs.  This is a key prerequisite to enabling them to have a strong voice in the company/community dialogue and in decisions affecting their lives.  While comprehensive poverty studies can take one to two years to complete, such consultations can provide an immediate and practical indicator of impacts for the poorest and most vulnerable is to consult by consulting with the groups that represent poorer women (not elite women) in a mining, oil, and gas communities to see if their lives are improved, rather than harmed by mining.  To get maximum benefit and results, the consultation should be undertaken at a time and place selected to be very convenient to the local women – otherwise they may not be able to attend because of their child care and other household tasks. Rather than a government or company official leading the event, consideration should be given to arranging for the consultation to be undertaken by a local woman who is well known and respected in the community to avoid the risk that poor women will not be forthright with a foreign outsider or government official.

 

Additional Reading:



Comments
  • Cit: In reference to the above post, and as we exinapled in our response to the letter you mention from IUCN to Ed Story, President and CEO of SOCO International plc (sent in 2011 not 2010), we believe our respective agendas need not necessarily be… read more
  • Alejandro Rossi: Thanks for the valuable information on this site. And thank you for uploading to http://www.eisourcebook.org/cms/The%20Extractive%20Industry%20and%20Community%20Opposition.pdf details of the Rio+20 workshop focused on mining and social conflict,… read more