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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 camouflage.

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 GREENWASH.

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 WSSD programme:
 

Title: International Council on Mining and Metals

ICMM Membersí Briefing
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.
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 developments.
Provisional Names of Speakers:
  • Mr Scott Houston, Program Director, ICMM
  • Mrs Anita Roper, Deputy Secretary General, ICMM
ICMM - International Council of Mining and Metals website
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, press@iucn.org; 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 VALUE?

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 Araujo, IUCN
Speakers include:
  • Rili Djohani, The Nature Conservancy
  • Feisol Hashim, AlamKulKul Resort
  • Andy Vickerman, Rio Tinto
  • Shari Brown, EHS Information and Data Systems Manager for Weyerhaeuser Company.
First inputs from the Dialogue
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, he added.
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 response teams.

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 Union

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.

ENDS

Press briefing:

  • Sir Robert Wilson, incoming Chairman of ICMM and Chairman of Rio Tinto.
  • Achim Steiner, Director General of IUCN ? The World Conservation Union.
  • Anita Roper, Deputy Secretary General, International Council on Mining and Minerals
1700 Sunday 1 September
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: achim.steiner@iucn.org
  • At ICMM: Anita Roper, Deputy Secretary General, Tel: +27 (0) 83 3296 2273; E-mail: anita.roper@icmm.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 General

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 with mining

* 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

Achim Steiner
Director General
IUCN - The World Conservation Union
World Headquarters
Rue Mauverny 28
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel: ++41 22 999 0297 - Fax: ++41 22 999 0029
E-mail: achim.steiner@iucn.org
http://www.iucn.org

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

by Mines and Communities
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), and
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 indigenous_wssd@yahoogroups.com
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 for:

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 of mining;
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.
Supported by:
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
Homepage "Save the Elbe"
 
 
 
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