Exploration as well as exploitation activities related to winning of mineral resources will always cause some impact to the environment and the society in the affected region. Therefore, the project EO-MINERS will make available reliable and objective information about affected ecosystems and societies, to serve as a basis for a sound “trialogue”1 between the three main groups involved, the industry, governmental organisations and other stakeholders (e.g. local communities, NGO, etc.). This “trialogue” will assist towards the reconciliation of differing interests in order to reach agreement upon actions to deal with environmental and social impacts of mining activities. The reliable and objective information necessary for this will be derived from publicly available information sources and EO-MINERS products that are to be developed. Such products aim to characterise the effect on ecosystems, populations and societies and become an objective and indisputable basis for a sound “trialogue” between the stakeholders involved.
Dissociation of trialogue from WP1 activities
In the EO-MINERS case and for project internal reasons, tasks related to the trialogue were distributed to two WPs: One main challenge was to decide where to define the boundary between trialogue actions and the other actions within WP1. The actions carried out in WP1 to identify the stakeholders involved and the information requirements from different policies (deliverables D1.1-1, D1.1-2, D1.2) including site-specific requirements, will serve as input to the trialogue activities and are not themselves considered direct activities of the trialogue. The same applies to all activities on collecting information based e.g. stakeholder interviews or returned questionnaires.
Therefore, the trialogue methodology will start with the evaluation of available information concerning their relevance in the trialogue. In the evaluation process, we need to distinguish individual local and overall European conditions. On local level, this exercise will result in a kind of description of current situation specific for the particular site. On European level, it determines the way of presenting the project contribution to policy developments.
Principle way forward
A couple of discussions have been carried out about the trialogue activities. The trialogue methodology was in particular, a matter of intensive discussion between the partners involved. Common agreement regarding the trialogue methodology and the way forward was agreed in principle towards the end of the first half of the project, although details still have not yet been fixed.
In principle, the trialogue will deal with any kind of stakeholder interaction activities in the sense that the outcomes of such events will be considered in the conclusions of the trialogue of EO-MINERS. It is therefore proposed that the EO-MINERS trialogue comprises two parts:
- trialogue related the European level (“European trialogue”) and
- trialogue related to each of the mining sites under investigation (“Local trialogue”).
Figure 1: Overview on the EO-MINERS trialogue activities
The local trialogue is aiming more at the local society whereas on EU level we are aiming at governments and industry. Both trialogue activities will basically follow the same principle methodology, which is shown in figure 2.
Figure 2: Principle trialogue methodology
1 definition: “An interchange and discussion of ideas among three groups having different origins, philosophies, principles, etc.”