Mining and mining policy in the Pacific: history, challenges and perspectives

Noumea, New-Caledonia, 21 - 25 November 2011

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The subject of the conference is the mining industry in its entirety, as a set of activities but also of representations. It will examine the relationships among mining companies, public authorities, local communities, NGOs, officials, experts, consultants and representatives of civil society. It will also investigate the role and importance of national and international financial institutions.
Five major areas of interest have been identified:

  1. The activity of mining itself: understanding the dynamics of the industry and all its aspects (from extraction to metallurgy); the changing demands in intermediate and terminal markets; the nature of mining resources and the changing reserve levels; developments in respect of technical processes; analysis of the actors (interests and strategies) and the challenges facing the industry; the changing strategies of the large companies in the Pacific (including companies from the emerging BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China); and forms of cooperation and/or competition.
  2. The effects and impacts of mining on different levels (ecological, economic, social, political, cultural and gender); the cumulative effects and interaction amongst these domains in the dynamics of mining conflicts and in the negotiations that the industry must be involved in, as well as the modes of governance at different political and administrative levels.
  3. The rules of engagement for mining: changing public regulatory, institutional and legal frameworks and private standards and procedures; the lessons of experience; developments with regard to regulatory norms and tools (strategic environmental assessment [SEA], environmental impact assessment [EIA], corporate social responsibility [CSR], etc.) at different levels (business, community, country, international); arrangements for control and monitoring; evaluation of existing tools and frameworks; and challenges for the future (level of regulation, public-private partnerships, consultation frameworks, etc.)
  4. The strategies of local populations in the countries and communities hosting mining activities; integrating mining activities into local dynamics; conditions framing choices regarding mining activities, distribution and use of mining revenue, situations of conflict, negotiation and dialogue; methods of representation and organisation employed by local populations and their means of making their voice heard; effectiveness of the strategies and tools adopted.
  5. Mining in history, literature and expressions of culture can shed a very revealing light on the way mining has shaped the imagination and means of expression of communities affected by the industry. Papers are expected which will examine these artistic expressions (literary, pictorial, cinematographic, theatrical, etc.) in terms of their historic significance and how they reflect the various aspects of mining in the Pacific.

The conference is open to a wide variety of speakers and delegates. The call for papers is itself, therefore, not restrictive. We welcome papers ranging from testimonies and feedback to case studies, political reflections, analyses of a technical or operational nature, and scientific articles.
The issues addressed may be of local, national, regional or global importance. We welcome both historical and comparative perspectives (for example between several sites operated by one and the same company or, conversely, between different company strategies implemented on nearby sites).

Updated 08/31/2011

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