Mining in the Arctic in regard to social sustainability

Lead Author Vladimir, Masloboev
Institution Contact Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences 14, Fersman street, Apatity, Murmansk Region, Russia, 184209
Co-Authors Svetlana Vinogradova, Center of Humanitarian Problems of Barents region, Russia Vladimir Didyk, Institute of Economical Problems, Russia Elena Klyuchnikova, Institute of Industrial Ecology Problems, Russia Elena Korczak, Institute of Economical Problems, Russia Tatyana Mingaleva, Institute of Industrial Ecology Problems, Russia Victor Petrov, Kola Biodiversity Conservation Center, Russia Larissa Ryabova, Institute of Economical Problems, Russia
Theme Theme 1: Vulnerability of Arctic Environments
Session Name 1.5 Assessment of Environmental Impact of Industrial Activities in the Arctic
Datetime Wed, Sep 14, 2016 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text The mining industry is becoming the leading industry in Arctic, especially, in the Barents region.
Climate change and especially economic globalization have opened up the region’s plentiful resources for global consumption. In this regard, there are certain challenges and risks for the region: the population is concerned about the irreversible environmental changes due to negative effects of mining activities and fewer opportunities for the development of other livelihoods also. In order to escape the expenditures related to conflicts with local communities, we recommend the companies to apply a concept of “social license to operate” in the North during the development of their social policy. Such approach will not only decrease the reputational losses of the company but bring additional profits related to more reasonable use of the potential of the local communities in the company’s activities. To receive the social license to operate, the companies should take care for the social sustainability of the local communities, which is provided by living standards and favorable environment. That’s why the companies should follow the environmental requirements, search for new environmentally friendly technologies of production, processing and waste treatment. The company should set such a long-term goal as the real assessment of environmental expenditures of the company and include them into the value of the final product. Self-regulation of the companies should be based upon striving for a real dialog with the local communities and the regard for the interest of the local business. The opinion and interests of indigenous peoples should be taken into consideration during the development of new mining projects at the earliest stages, because they will actively protect their interests in case of potential risks.
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