UNITED OUTCRY AGAINST MINING GREENWASH
At the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) at Johannisburg,
the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the International
Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced a partnership, to
"to work together on mining and biodiversity".
This is not only a problem to communities and environmental protection
organisations cursed with mining. "Save the Elbe" is a German organisation,
mainly involved to local issues at Hamburg, where no mining occurs. However,
through the coppersmelter "Norddeutsche Affinerie" (Affi), we were confronted
with dirty mining, especially Ok Tedi Mine at Papua Newguinea, which supplies
Affi with raw material. We are familiar with "Global Mining Initiative"
(GMI) and the efforts of mining industry, to attach themselves a green
About IUCN, we did not hear before, because it resides on a suprainternational
cloud. What we have in common with IUCN is, that these people enjoy to
live in countries and under conditions, where protest agains environmental
destruction does not face guns, where everybody has free access to the
court to claim proper compensations, where environmentalists meet government
or the CEO of companies to talk. IUCN ignores, that their new partners
from the mining industry continue their usual business of environmental
destruction and social injustice in most parts of the world, while sweet
talking at Johannisburg or in Switzerland.
Therefore "Save the Elbe" signed on the UNITED OUTCRY AGAINST MINING
To understand, why and how a once respected nature conservation organisation
stepped into the trap, we compiled some pages from the internet, which
will illuminate the process.
IUCN prepared the public by two events in its Johannisburg
Title: International Council on Mining and Metals
ICMM Membersí Briefing
Briefing session for ICMM Members in order to plan
the industryís participation at various business briefing meetings, side
events and the formal UN Sessions of the summit, and to monitor summit
Invitation Only to ICMM Members notified previously
Monday 26 August - 17:30-19:30
IUCN Environment Executive Tabanshu Room
Capacity: 30 seats
By invitation only.
Provisional Names of Speakers:
ICMM - International Council of Mining and Metals
Mr Scott Houston, Program Director, ICMM
Mrs Anita Roper, Deputy Secretary General, ICMM
The IUCN Environment Centre, at the Nedcor Bank
in Johannesburg, will be hosting an exciting series of events during the
WSSD. These events are designed to enable discussions on issues of major
interest and concern, both feeding into the formal WSSD proceedings and
developing new ways of implementing sustainable development. The highlight
of each day is a high-level "Futures Dialogue" at lunch time that will
feature a small number of provocative and informed speakers to address
the key issues for the future on each of ten daily themes. Around these
dialogues are morning and afternoon events including round-tables, workshops,
book launches, theatre groups, and partnership negotiations. For more information
contact: IUCN Communications, email@example.com; Tel: +41 22 999 0127; Fax:
+41 22 999 0020; Web: www.iucn.org Please note: Media representatives are
requested to present themselves at least 15 minutes before each event.
They will be asked to identify themselves by means of a press card or a
corresponding ID card with a photo. Only reporters and journalists accredited
to the WSSD will be granted access to the IUCN Environment Centre.
DO BIODIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS ADD
Saturday 31 August - 09:00-10:30
IUCN Environment Centre Auditorium
Capacity: 230 seats
Co-organized by: Rio Tinto.
Opening of Business Day and Moderator: Miguel
First inputs from the Dialogue
Rili Djohani, The Nature Conservancy
Feisol Hashim, AlamKulKul Resort
Andy Vickerman, Rio Tinto
Shari Brown, EHS Information and Data Systems Manager
for Weyerhaeuser Company.
What do Conservation International and Starbucks
Coffee Company have in common? A shared commitment to sustainable development.
Together, they are working to promote environmentally friendly coffee plantations
and reduce the impact of trade on biodiversity.
During todayís dialogue, Amy Skoczlas of Conservation
International (CI) described partnerships with Starbucks, McDonalds and
Rio Tinto amongst others. Since CI started working with Starbucks, sales
of biodiversity-friendly ìshade coffeeî by the company have doubled every
year. CI is now working with Starbucks to develop environmental purchasing
guidelines. Similarly, for McDonalds Corporation, CI undertook a global
assessment of the biodiversity impacts of their food sourcing and developed
conservation guidelines focusing on the supply of whitefish.
Rio Tinto also relies on organizations like CI
to assess biodiversity in potential mining sites. ìIt is important to assess
biodiversity before investing millions in explorationî, said Andy Vickerman
from Rio Tinto. The company has also found that indigenous communities
can make important contributions to business operations, providing local
knowledge that business and other organizations lack. Vickerman explained
that Rio Tinto looks for partners who are credible; authoritative; committed
to a science-based approach; who recognize the importance of development;
and have a strong presence on the ground. ìBenefits go beyond the company;
these partnerships have increased the worldís knowledge of biodiversityî,
Speakers went on to show the many ways in which
business, governments and civil society are partnering for biodiversity
conservation and sustainable development.
Rili Djohani from the Nature Conservancy described
a novel partnership in Indonesia focusing on the sustainable development
of marine fisheries. The aim is to replace unsustainable fishing practices
with multi-species hatchery based fish cultures reinforced by certification
and consumer education in markets in Taiwan and Hong Kong. ìDonít eliminate
the trade, make it sustainable,î said Rili. ìNGOs like TNC can do the R&D
but we need business partners for scaling up.î
Feisol Hassam from the Indonesian Tourism Council
emphasized the need for ìsmart partnerships based on trust, mutual respect
for mutual benefits.î
Shari Brown, Weyerhaeuser Company and member
of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Young
Managers Team, described the characteristics of sustainable enterprises
and the role of partnerships, focusing on corporate social responsibilities.
In 1992, sustainable businesses required little beyond community education
and consultation. Today, WBCSD members aim for more pro-active involvement
from local communities and a larger business role in social welfare, including
through tri-partite partnerships between governments, business and civil
society. Brown described sustainable land use planning for the Great Bear
Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada, involving contributions from a
wide range of stakeholders and resulting in the submission of a comprehensive
land use plan to the government. The plan includes the creation of 20 large
protected areas and an agreement by companies to defer harvesting, pending
the development of an ecosystem based management plan.
Mark Collins, from the United Nations Environment
Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), presented
an environmental information system for emergency response to oil spills
and other industrial accidents, developed in partnership with the petroleum
industry. UNEP-WCMC provides online interactive maps of infrastructure,
ecologically sensitive areas and key habitats that are used by accident
Finally, at the end of the meeting, a new partnership
was announced between IUCN and ICMM - the International Council for Mining
and Minerals. ìThis partnership is a bridge that governments, NGOs and
business others can walk on ì said Achim Steiner, ìIt will require fresh
imagination on the part of both business and environmentalists.ì
Anita Roper, Deputy Secretary General of ICMM,
said that they would use the MMSD report prepared by the International
Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) as the basis for actions
that can be measured as we move forwards; our partnership with IUCN is
a key part of our strategy.
For more information on the new IUCN - ICMM partnership,
see press release.
Here it comes: ICMM - IUCN joint press release at WSSD
Mining Industry and IUCN - The World Conservation
Announce Partnership on Mining and Biodiversity
Johannesburg, 31 August 2002 (ICMM/IUCN)
The International Council on Mining and Metals
(ICMM), the global voice of the industry, and IUCN - The World Conservation
Union today launch a partnership to work together on mining and biodiversity.
"ICMM is committed to working with IUCN and others
in developing best practice principles and reporting criteria on which
to measure progress in implementation", said Sir Robert Wilson, incoming
Chairman of ICMM and Chairman of Rio Tinto.
"The resolution of the long standing conflict
between mining and conservation needs new approaches and efforts need to
be made from both sides. Our work with ICMM offers a platform for communities,
corporations, NGOs and governments to engage in a significant process of
dialogue that seeks to find the best balance between invaluable ecosystems
and biodiversity and the social and economic importance of mining", says
Achim Steiner, Director General of IUCN - The World Conservation Union.
ICMM members represent a substantial proportion
of world mineral production and include 22 of the worldís leading mining
and metal producing companies and 25 industry associations world-wide.
IUCN is the worldís largest environmental knowledge network. As a Union,
it brings together members from 140 countries, including over 70 States,
107 government agencies and some 750 plus NGOs.
Preliminary agreed areas of work are the development
of informed transparent, inclusive and equitable decision-making processes
that integrate biodiversity conservation and mining into broader land use
management strategies. The partnership also seeks to address specific issues
such as "no-go" areas, existing systems of protected areas, industry performance
and especially its contribution to biodiversity conservation.
ICMM believes that there is a sound business case
for this partnership. It helps to identify and manage risks, maximises
opportunities for growth, enhances relationships with the conservation
community and other constituencies and creates long-term business value
in a responsible manner.
"We believe that best practice guidelines not
only contribute to biodiversity conservation, but also improve the performance
of the mining and metals industry", said Sir Robert.
The partnership initiative follows the commitment
made by the ICMM Council after the Global Mining Initiative policy conference
held last May in Toronto. The ICMM Toronto Declaration outlined several
priority areas for follow-up including the need to work in partnership
with IUCN and others, in order to resolve the questions associated with
biodiversity, protected areas and mining.
Issues related to mining and biodiversity were
assessed in the independent stakeholder-based report of the Mining Minerals
and Sustainable Development (MMSD) Project, which was recently published
by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
IUCN and ICMM have agreed to use the recommendations of the MMSD report
as a basis for moving forward.
IUCN and ICMM are committed to extending the partnership
to other organizations that can make a contribution and to work with them
to further defining the work programme.
1700 Sunday 1 September
Sir Robert Wilson, incoming Chairman of ICMM and
Chairman of Rio Tinto.
Achim Steiner, Director General of IUCN ? The World
Anita Roper, Deputy Secretary General, International
Council on Mining and Minerals
IUCN Environment Centre Press Room
NEDCOR Bank Headquarters
135 Rivonia Road Sandton Johannesburg
For more information, please contact:
At IUCN: Achim Steiner, Director General or Jeffrey
McNeely, Chief Scientist Tel: +27 (0) 82 858 1427; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
At ICMM: Anita Roper, Deputy Secretary General, Tel:
+27 (0) 83 3296 2273; E-mail: email@example.com
At Rio Tinto: Andrew Vickerman, Head, External Affairs,
Tel: +44 77 11 87 96 14
The long term preparation of the IUCN - ICMM partnership was described
by Achim Steiner, Director General of IUCN, in an email to the councellors
of IUCN. First Steiner displays the activities on WSSD (which we will omit
here), than he comments the "Outcry" and tries to justify the evolution
of the "partnership".
|Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2002 12:27 PM
Subject: MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR GENERAL - IUCN
@ WSSD - A brief Review + Commentary on Mining and Biodiversity Initiative
Message for all IUCN Councillors from the Director
Dear Councillors, dear Colleagues
Many of you have followed the World Summit on
Sustainable Development and IUCN's involvement - both before and during
the summit - through the web site and other communications. Nevertheless
I thought I would attempt to provide a little summary of our WSSD experience
as one means of catalysing thinking about where we go from here.
You may recall that about one year ago we agreed
to make Johannesburg the key event for the Union in 2002. We adopted a
dual strategy of 'inside and around the summit'. "Inside the summit" focused
on the prepcom process and the substantive agenda that IUCN would try to
bring to the summit.
However, what made the IUCN Centre so special
for many of us was the fact that it was place where everyone in the IUCN
family felt welcome. Whether the indigeneous peoples caucus or the NGO
Stakeholder Forum both of which used our centre during the first week for
their meetings, our colleagues from WWF or the head of a small Mauritanian
NGO who also chairs our National Committee there - all felt that the Centre
offered them "a home away from home"...and above all made them feel good
about being a part of the Union.
We also used the ten days in Johannesburg to meet
with many of our members as well as new partners and to move joint initiatives
forward. We signed a number of MoUs, partnership agreements, got new project
ideas off the ground and also dropped some ideas after using the meetings
for a reality check. All of this does not come close to capturing what
went on the in the building. I know that Taghi, Denise and David - as Chairs
of their Commissions could write equally long memos summarising all the
activities they - and indeed all Commissions - managed to organise during
the ten days. I wanted to highlight this as the exceptional team spirit
among Commission members, Councillors, Secretariat staff and even IUCN
members who joined us for our daily briefings each morning, demonstrated
a collective identity which we so often invoke.
Regrettably, only moments after we closed down
the IUCN Centre on September 4th I received a message that a letter had
been signed by a number of organisations protesting IUCN's decision to
engage in a partnership with the International Council on Mining and Metals
and that a meeting involving not only the indigeneous peoples caucus but
also IUCN members was "decrying this cynical greenwash" at a meeting in
the Convention Centre. Many of you may already have heard or seen this
letter. In view of the seriousness of the claims and assumptions made in
this letter I feel I should include a short briefing on this in my memo
to you today. I do so with respect for the skepticism of indigeneous peoples
towards any kind of global initiatives on issues such as mining through
which they have so often been affected negatively, but also with great
frustration about the fact that statements are released by groups and sign-on
letters sent out entitled "United Outcry against Mining Greenwash" when
people have not even read the actual statement IUCN and ICMM released.
Let me briefly summarise the background and rationale
for this initiative:
* In May of 2002 a global report was released
in Toronto on "Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development". The MMSD
report was a two year process facilitated by IIED at the request of the
World Business Council and 20 of the worlds' leading mining companies.
It was managed by Richard Sandbrook who many of you know as a former IUCN
Council member. It involved many stakeholders and inputs from a variety
of actors - including IUCN on the issue of biodiversity, protected areas
and mining. While opinions differ on the report and the process as they
inevitably will on a controversial issue such as mining the report offers
a focused agenda for further dialogue on key debates and conflicts associated
* At the launch in Toronto 22 mining companies
announced the establishment of the International Council on Mining and
Metals (ICMM) as a commitment of their industry to continue working on
the issues and recommendations of the MMSD report. One remarkable aspect
of ICMM was that its Council would in fact be composed of the CEOs themselves
- rather than staff of the respective companies. Another important signal
was the appointment of Jay Hair as its Director - known to many of you
as IUCN's former President and former head of the National Wildlife Federation.
* ICMM approached IUCN in June 2002 with a request
to engage with IUCN as a facilitator and partner to address the issue of
mining vis-a-vis biodiversity and protected areas (in particular the issue
of no - go areas related to IUCN Protected Area Categories I - IV which
could not be resolved during the MMSD process). In view of our continued
concern about mining in and around protected areas (including our resolution
on the issue at the Amman Congress) I met with Jay Hair in June for a first
discussion. Based on the commitment to an open dialogue and the agreement
to bring this discussion jointly to our World Parks Congress in 2003 we
agreed to explore the options for cooperation.
* In August we held a meeting in London with ICMM
to which I had invited both WCPA and two IUCN members actively working
on this issue (Earthwatch and Conservation International) to demonstrate
that this dialogue would involve all components of the Union. We agreed
that we would use the key issues identified in the MMSD report as a departure
point for further work. The short-term goal would be to explore the question
of mining and protected areas with the World Parks Congress as a first
milestone to assess progress. However, the footprint of mining and its
impact on biodiversity and local communities also led us to agree that
we must look at mining and biodiversity in a broader context - namely the
landscape level and beyond parks. Thus we also want to explore how mining
could develop new/best practise approaches that would address these questions.
* The basis for our engagement was made clear
from the beginning. IUCN's role as a knowledge network and facilitator
in this process would be funded from our own resources to ensure the independence
and integrity of our inputs. ICMM would need to raise the funds required
for specific reviews, meetings, dialogues that would be undertaken as part
of the process. This was done on the undertstanding that this effort is
an investment on the part of the mining industry to address their issues
and challenges and not the responsibility of IUCN to subsidise a learning
and development process of the mining industry.
* We agreed that Johannesburg and the WSSD would
be used to announce this partnership which we did in the form of a joint
statement and press release (which I have attached for your information).
We will meet again in October to kick off the work and finalise the detailed
schedule of activities. IUCN will appoint a coordinator for this initiative
for one year to work with all relevant components of the IUCN in pulling
together the knowledge, expertise and policies we have on these questions.
Following the World Parks Congress we will assess
whether progress made merits a continuation of this initiative. That- in
nutshell - is what this IUCN - ICMM partnership is meant to do. Many of
us are dismayed at the so-called 'outcry' which neither took the trouble
to examine our statement nor enquire about our terms of engagement with
ICMM before issuing the "United Outcry against Mining Greenwash". Notwithstanding
the strong sentiments expressed in the statement about mining companies
which stand in their own right when considered from the perspective of
communities who found themselves at the receiving end of unacceptable corporate
behaviour, it is not a basis on which to condemn a significant effort on
the part of the mining industry to address these issues in the form of
creating ICMM as platform to engage with a wide range of actors.
No one believes that the mining industry will
transform itself overnight. But it has always been IUCN's policy to engage
with all relevant actors and to influence, encourage and assist where this
can help "to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature ........".
Based on the steps taken so far by ICMM I believe IUCN's focused dialogue
and limited engagement is justified and will be subject to transparent
assessment by our constituency in Durban 12 months from now.
Despite this particular issue I would like to
end this memo by sharing with you my sense of excitement and pride about
how IUCN conducted itself during the WSSD. Its focus, energy and commitment
to conservation and sustainable development were deployed in a manner that
left all of us with a tremendous sense of opportunity and belief in what
we can achieve together. Even if governments were unable to lead from the
top in Johannesburg - IUCN sent a clear signal that it will continue to
push the sustainable development agenda from the ground up!!
With best wishes
IUCN - The World Conservation Union
Rue Mauverny 28
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel: ++41 22 999 0297 - Fax: ++41 22 999 0029
Steiner's comment underlines the necessity of the "Outcry", which was
issued by "Mines and Communities" on 3rd September 2002.
UNITED OUTCRY AGAINST MINING GREENWASH
The website you are visiting (and hopefully finding
useful) is a project of three British-based organisations:
People against Rio Tinto and Subsidiaries (Partizans),
Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPlinks),
the Society of St.Columban.
The initial funding, to research content and
construct the site, came from the Polden Puckham Foundation of Bristol
- whose unstinting support we gratefully acknowledge.
The following is a statement that you
can sign on to. If you wish to please forward endorsement to firstname.lastname@example.org
Indigenous peoples, mine-affected local communities
and major organisations of civil society decried today the partnership
forged by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the International Council
on Mining and Metals (ICMM) as a cynical greenwash of the mining industry.
"It's a contradiction for the ICMM, whose mining
industry members have systematically engaged in the rape of the Mother
Earth to have suddenly changed heart to implement best management practices
to protect biodiversity. By nature of its technology, mining is unsustainable.
The mining industry has a poor record of community accountability and in
many parts of the world is socially unacceptable", said Tom Goldtooth of
the Indigenous Environmental Network.
Mining has left a legacy of impoverished communities
and environmental despoiliation. "Entering a partnership on Mining and
Biodiversity with the World Conservation Union, while marginalizing indigenous
peoples and local communities, who are most severely impacted, is a gross
cynicism and non-accountability on the part of these global organisations"
said Joji Carino of Tebtebba Foundation, the Indigenous Peoples International
Centre for Policy-Research and Education.
A global coalition of indigenous peoples organisations,
mine-affected communities and civil society organisations called today
1. A moratorium on mining activities
until governments and corporations respect indigenous peoples' rights to
self-determination and to free, prior and informed consent to all forms
2. Down-sizing of the mining industry;
3. A stop to environmentally damaging mining
practices such as bulk and strip-mining; the use of cyanide mining; and
sub-marine tailings disposal;
4. Reparations to affected communities and restitution
for past damages;
5. A Convention on Corporate Accountability covering
the mining, energy and chemical industries.
Indigenous Environtal Network: Tom Goldtooth
- 082 858 0316
Tebtebba Foundation: Joji Carino and Victoria
Tauli-Corpuz - 082 3454541
African Indigenous Women's Organisation
Indigenous Information Network Asian
Indigenous Women's Network International
Indian Treaty Council
Indigenous Women's Network
Third World Network: Abdulai Dimarani
Friends of the Earth: Gabriel Ducca-Rivas
Oilwatch: Elizabeth Bravo AMIGRANSA
Index of Ok Tedi Pages
"Save the Elbe"