Social dimension of mining- Sustainable Development in Resource Intensive Regions

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  • 1.  
  • 2. The Social Dimension of Mining Professor Stephen Webb University of Newcastle Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing (RISIW) July 2011
  • 3. The Team Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
    • Professor Stephen Webb
    • Dr Declan Kuch
    • Ms Asha Titus
    • Mr Graham Lucas
    • Ms Charlotte Bradley-Peni
    • Professor Terry Wall
    July, 2011
  • 4.
    • 1950’s Coal Is Our Life.
    • Classic sociological study on a pit town in West Yorkshire, England, focusing on close-knit mining community
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 5.
    • Sectoral concentration in mining leads to concentration of ownership and of power - often in foreign hands.
    • Reducing political competition in policy making and institutional design, thereby increasing the potential for capture and bias.
    • Bebbington (2008) - Concentration leads to revenue streams that are easily identifiable, triggering struggles over control. Mineral rents feed the over-expansion of bureaucracy, and induce patronage and clientelism, corroding the quality of government
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 6.
    • Freudenburg and Wilson’s (2002) meta review of 301 sets of findings on mining and economic development in the USA. They claim that a "growing number of findings have now challenged the common expectation that mining is generally expected to bring economic benefits to rural regions". (p.549)
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 7.
    • Wilson (2004) - Well-being of people living in mining communities varies a great deal. In addressing socioeconomic well-being, she likens the experience of being mining dependent to riding a roller coaster
    • Refers to the frequent changes in employment and population, but also to the uncertain future of the mines and their communities. Mining areas experience volatile economic conditions, key characteristics and responses of the communities, companies, and resource alter the ride. Evidence suggests that there are high rates of divorce among mining families.
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 8.
    • Sharma (2009) – Examined wellbeing of families of male mine-workers living in remote mining towns in Australia.
    • Several factors that negatively impact on the relationship and psychological wellbeing of family members.
    • Atypical work schedules of the mining jobs negatively affect the long-term health of the workers, and constrain their participation in domestic roles. Limited availability of resources, services and flexi-time jobs in mining towns marginalise female partners to domestic chores. Higher level of alcohol consumption by workers and spending of leisure time with male workmates reinforces patriarchal culture, marginalising women and strains marital relationships.
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 9.
    • Social housing is a particular problem in mining communities.
    • Rolfe et.al. (2008) - "The recent commodity boom and subsequent mining developments in the Bowen Basin has generated a number of housing pressures in the region, a situation that not only affects individuals and families but also has negative flow on effects for the local and regional economy. Higher prices and shortages of housing can impact on people with lower incomes, generating social pressures, as well as limiting the potential for further economic development and diversification." (p.1)
    • Akbar (2011) has noted the increasing significance of "fly in, fly out" (FIFO) mining company employees and the development of mining village in the Bowen Basin. Transient employees stay at mining camps during shift periods. The two main reasons for non residents staying in the mining villages are accessibility to the work site and unaffordable housing in the town near to the work site.
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 10. Mining and Cumulative Impacts
    • University of Queensland. Franks et.al. (2009) report that cumulative environmental, community and economic impacts (both positive and negative) are assuming growing importance in the resource industries.
    • Unmitigated impacts have potential to delay or prevent expansion of mining in existing and prospective areas. Proactive management of cumulative impacts can benefit regional environments and communities and contribute to the industry’s social license to operate. Communities and local governments are increasingly demanding greater attention to the assessment and management of cumulative impacts, particularly in the presence of multiple mining operations
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 11.
    • Franks (2009) describes cumulative impacts as "the successive, incremental and combined impacts of an activity on society, the economy and the environment" (Brereton et al , 2008) Impacts can be both positive and negative and can vary in both intensity as well as spatial and temporal extent.
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 12. What are cumulative impacts? July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 13. What are cumulative impacts?
    • Cumulative impacts are distinguished from other impacts because they:
    • Can’t be understood simply by focusing on the activities of an individual mining/petroleum development
    • Require an understanding of the receiving environment (e.g. Town, airshed, watershed)
    • In many cases they can only be addressed through collaboration
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 14. What are cumulative impacts? July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 15. Protest, resistance and mobilization
    • Bebbington (2008) notes "the shifting and expanding geographies of mineral investment have elicited different forms of protest that articulate a range of concerns about environment, human rights, identity, territory, livelihood and nationalism.
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 16.
    • Organizational density, is an essential component of protest cycles. It is more important than the protests themselves in accounting for the expansion of a movement. Increases in organizational density of "early riser" groups accelerate the diffusion of activism across multiple constituencies through a transfer of in-formation and the construction of a niche or resource infrastructure.
    • Different types and levels of protest. For instance, low-level protest is made up of three items that measure the likelihood of respondents acting to get the authorities to change their minds-by writing to a newspaper, attending a public meeting, or helping to collect signatures for a petition. Communal activity in mining areas is in fact the largest and most immediate determinant of low-level protest.
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 17.
    • It is likely that we are dealing with different types of protestor in relation to mining developments in the Surat and Bowen basins. With these types of protest it is very much about issues (rather than social structure or political orientation), it is issues of a social or moral character in particular that are crucial and not bread-and-butter economic issues.
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 18.
    • Many local protests focus on community based issues. For instance, mineralization is often found in headwater areas that serve as sources for rural and urban water supply, or in desert areas where water required for extraction and processing has to be diverted from elsewhere and from other uses. With open pit technologies the local and regional landscape transformations associated with mining become all the more significant.
    • Social protest, by civil activists and NGO's, challenges government (and corporations) to take a position on where the balance ought to lie between central government preferences, private investor rights and local participatory democracy in determining territorial trajectories.
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 19. Building Sustainable Mining Communities
    • The challenge for any mining company is to develop meaningful corporate social responsibility that properly involves key stakeholders. This requires them engaging in an equitable partnership with the associated community and to leave a lasting legacy of sustainability and well-being to the community, avoiding environmental degradation and social dislocation.
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 20. Building Sustainable Mining Communities
    • Mining companies’ dominant interpretation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been in terms of ad hoc charitable donations and support to good causes motivated by a sense of "it is the right thing to do".
    • This has not alleviated the contribution of mining companies to growing social problems around the mines because they have not impacted on core business practices or contributed to necessary community collaboration. The approach tends to add fuel to the criticism of CSR as a branch of public relations (Christian Aid, 2004)
    • Cynical view is companies undertake CSR as insurance against disruption and reputational damage as well as to avoid mandatory regulation, rather than a genuine attempt to facilitate development that benefits the poor and marginalized.
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 21. Building Sustainable Mining Communities
    • Veiga et.al (2001) argue that to be considered as sustainable, a mining community needs to adhere to the principles of:
    • (i) ecological sustainability;
    • (ii) economic vitality and
    • (iii) social equity.
    • These principles apply over a long time span, covering both the life of the mine and post-mining closure. The legacy left by a mine to the community after its closure is emerging as a significant aspect of its planning.
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 22. Building Sustainable Mining Communities
    • The three principles of sustainability are:-
    •  
    • (1) Environmental impacts must not pose any unacceptable risk to associated communities;
    • (2) Communications between the mining company and the community must be transparent and effective; citizens should be encouraged to share in decisions that directly affect their futures; this will help mining companies avoid risks to the sustainability of both their own operations and the community;
    • (3) Mine development bring a net benefit to the community (it is no longer enough to simply mitigate impacts). To achieve this, community diversification must be part of mine planning, development, operation and post-closure.
    July, 2011 Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing | www.newcastle.edu.au
  • 23. THANK YOU
    • Research Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing
    • July 2011
    CRICOS Provider 00109J | www.newcastle.edu.au DISCUSSION
  • 24.