The poor management and regulation of negative environmental and social impacts of mining have fuelled criticism and, in some cases, hostile attitudes towards the mining industry and governments among communities affected by mining and a range of civil society organisations.
The occurrence of these impacts can be reduced and the effects mitigated, where impacts are unavoidable.
Addressing the adverse environmental and social impacts of mining requires a multi-pronged approach. On their part, Governments need to strengthen the frameworks that govern environmental and social impact assessment, management and regulation. They should also enhance the capacities and effectiveness of regulatory agencies and improve the culture of how these institutions interact with citizens and communities affected by mining. This would help minimise conflicts and tensions with communities due to displacement and disruption of livelihoods by mining activities.
Today there is a proliferation of CSR frameworks, norms and reporting formats— some are legislated, but most are guidelines or voluntary codes. These myriad sources and frameworks are often uncoordinated and sometimes confusing. It is important therefore to embed CSR in a framework whose responsibilities are clear and is part of a broader social development agenda that has been consultatively developed between Government, mining companies and communities.
NOTE: Some information on this page are from the African Mineral Vision thought starter document 2011.