Methodology - European trialogue - Introduction
The European trialogue has to be seen in a wider policy context (Europe 2020 Strategy, flagship initiative for a resource efficient Europe -> common vision to support a long-term perspective for an efficient use of natural resources). It will provide a platform for interaction between all stakeholders at the European level that are directly and indirectly related to the minerals sector (e.g. industry, policy makers, professional associations, governments and authorities, NGOs, environment agencies, etc.). This also include groups dealing with the environmental and social effects of mining.
The target group comprises among many others the GMES, the Raw Materials Initiative, ETP-SMR and probably also the SDIMI initiative (Sustainable Development Indicators in the Minerals Industry).
Three trialogue activities are proposed at the European level (see following Figure). All workshops will be dedicated to different target groups: The GEO community, the Member States and the industry.
1. Minerals & GEO
Minerals are a critical part of modern societies. Their exploitation and use generates wealth, as well as added values, jobs, comfort lifestyle and plays a vital role in almost every aspect in modern life. Unfortunately, their exploitation can yield unwanted pressures to the human and natural environment, and many developed countries, are strongly dependant on the import of energy and on raw materials. Both issues might produce unwanted risks in the future, and a security of supply is a major concern. Such facts have been recognised by the European Commission, which sets the role of Global Earth Observation (GEO) and Earth Observation as important tools for reducing the supply risks.
However, GEO Work Plan 2012-2015 identified minerals as a part of Energy and Geo-Resources Management information for societal benefits, but the role of minerals within GEO is still strongly underestimated, as not being one of the strategic target, not the related task on their own within GEO. The possibilities to include minerals within GEO are thus the primary focus of the workshop, which will include GEO and EO-MINERS presentations, panel discussions and round tables. Common agreement and statement about proper inclusion of minerals within GEO will be a welcomed outcome of the workshop. It will also address services in mineral exploration, impact assessment, closure and reclamation and will tackle the GMES.
2. Workshop on Materials Flow Analysis (MFA)
The trialogue activities at the European level have to be seen – apart from serving to fulfil the objectives of the EO-MINERS project – in a wider policy context. Within the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy, the European Commission has launched communication on a flagship initiative for a resource efficient Europe. With this flagship initiative, the European Commission intends to create a common vision to support a long-term perspective for an efficient use of natural resources. In this context, the mining sector is one of the key economic sectors, because it directly influences the extent and quality of raw material use of the European economy, but also our environment and thus the quality of life. It is therefore essential for the success of the European Commission's flagship initiative to define impacts of mining activities and indicators that can be used to support policy-making at the EU level and to help evaluating policy-effectiveness. Furthermore, cost-efficient methods should be developed to collect the necessary data in an appropriate temporal and spatial resolution of.
The MFA workshop will aim:
- To assess the state of the art in accounting for used and unused extraction to support public policy-making with regard to resource efficiency and "sustainable resource extraction";
- To discuss the use of Earth Observation to quantify used and unused extraction induced by mining activities;
- To assess options for future application of EO in the field of EW-MFA in the context of GEOSS and the flagship initiative for a Resource Efficient Europe.
3. 'Best of locals..' workshop
It is proposed that this event could be a conference to present and discuss results and conclusions from the site-specific trialogue workshops. The results of the site-specific trialogue events – although partly only relevant for the specific site - can be shown and discussed in order to draw Europe-wide common conclusions. We intend to invite the following stakeholders:
- Directors / Head of Units within the EC DGs ENTR and ENV
- Raw Materials Initiative
- Resource Efficient Europe Group of Eight (Brussels-based environmental NGOs)
- ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation)
- Euromines (European Association of Mining Industries)
- Euracoal (European Association for Coal and Lignite)
- EuroGeoSurveys (European Association of Geological Surveys)
- ETP-SMR (European Technology Platform on Sustainable Mineral Resources)
- ETC LUSI (European Topic Centre on Land Use and Spatial Information
The expected outcomes of the trialogue activities on the European level are:
- To obtain the perception about indicators developed
- To obtain the perception about EO-MINERS products and their suitability
- To gather information from stakeholders on further work required, if any (gap analysis, what will be required in the future)
- Assessment of suitability of EO-MINERS results for contributing to policy development.
Above all the European trialogues should raise awareness about possible contribution of EO methods and EO-MINERS products to impact assessment, influence related policy developments.