The Rise of Sustainability: Changing Public Concerns and Governance Approaches toward Exploration
Alistair MacDonald, Ginger Gibson, 2005. "The Rise of Sustainability: Changing Public Concerns and Governance Approaches toward Exploration", Wealth Creation in the Minerals Industry: Integrating Science, Business, and Education, Michael D. Doggett, John R. Parry
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The risks associated with, geographic locations of, and engagement strategies required by exploration companies have shifted in the last 25 years, largely in response to changing public attitudes and governance approaches. A mixture of growing global environmental consciousness, the rise of international civil society networks, and economic liberalization and government deregulation in the developing world have all played key roles in altering the environment for mineral exploration. Three fundamental tenets of a positive climate for exploration have been altered: access to land, ease and speed of permitting, and the right to mine deposits after discovery. This paper identifies the importance of new stakeholders, including nongovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, and community activist networks; new governance approaches, such as self-regulation, the use of international standards and co-management, and new monitoring and engagement techniques, such as environmental and social impact assessment, thirdparty monitoring, and prior informed consent. The traditional relationship focus between states and corporations has been replaced by constantly evolving relationships among corporations, governments, civil society, and affected communities. Exploration companies, particularly junior companies, must use available tools—early community engagement strategies and available guidance documents from industry associations among them—to adapt themselves to this new focus.