Civil Society Deepens Discussions on Responsible Mining at 2nd MLRI Round Table
Civil society stakeholders came together for the second time in two months to deepen and progress discussions on responsible mining in Armenia. The stakeholders were participating in the second Mining Legislation Reform Initiative (MLRI) Round Table as they move forward to collectively develop a clear set of responsible environmental, economic, social, and workers’ rights mining policies.
Mining Policy and Legislative Reform Manager, Varant Meguerditchian was encouraged by the discussions: “We discussed the health impacts of heavy metals, the potential for mine dam wall failures, the consequences for workers when mine operations are abruptly halted and much more.”
“It is critical to discuss and investigate these issues if we want to improve the mining sector in Armenia,” said Meguerditchian.
Roundtable participants heard presentations from keynote speakers, asked questions and shared their perspectives during discussions. The event also saw the release of the MLRI draft issues paper, which documents mining issues raised by stakeholders during the first MLRI Round Table held earlier in November.
Speakers at the event included: Alen Amirkhanian, Director of the AUA Center for Responsible Mining; Artur Grigoryan, Head of the Nature Protection and Subsoil Inspectorate; Davit Hakobyan, Legal Expert and contributor to the EITI Legislative and Institutional Review and Action Plan; and Prof. Henry Theriault, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Worcester State University.
Dr. Theriault who presented on ‘The Deep Ethics of Mining’ stated: “I absolutely saw a participatory process.”
“People felt no hesitation in voicing their opinions and viewpoints, and that’s good,” said Dr. Theriault.
The second MLRI Round Table discussion is part of the MLRI’s stakeholder engagement and policy development process which is designed to identify, document and prioritize key mining sector issues. The process will lead to the publication of the MLRI Mining Policy Paper in early 2019 ultimately aimed at introducing positive legislative reforms to Armenia’s mining sector.
The Mining Legislation Reform Initiative (MLRI), a project of the American University of Armenia (AUA)’s Center for Responsible Mining, is a multi-year effort to ensure that mining in Armenia provides sufficient benefits to the country and local communities. The initiative involves drafting and passing legislation that elevates the socio-economic benefits of mining while reducing the negative environmental and public health impacts. The MLRI project is made possible by funding from the Tufenkian Foundation.
Mining Policy and Legislative Reform Manager
T: +374 98 03 44 86