Cambodia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Environment have co-signed an agreement to improve Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements in artisanal and small scale mining projects. Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) partner Development and Partnership in Action (DPA) and a network of CSOs they facilitate played a key role in advising the government prior to the final agreement. The agreement aims to bring better transparency leading to stronger public participation in EIA processes.
Serving as the Secretariat for the Extractive Industry Social Environmental Impact (EISEI) Network – a grouping of 56 CSOs working on environmental impacts from Cambodia’s growing extractive industries – DPA worked with ministry officials to incorporate Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standards into the agreement, particularly those improving transparency in contracting and licensing processes. The network ensured CSO’s perspective and vision on the extractive industry in Cambodia were reflected in the final agreement.
Even with the current and updated legal context in Cambodia, there are still various challenges to ensure mining, oil and gas companies comply and respect the rights of affected and indigenous people. Information on mining operations is not often openly and properly shared. There is often limited participation and improper consultation during EIA processes.
MPE will continue to support DPA to address these challenges through engaging in dialogues with government on EI and EIA, building capacity of affected communities to fully participate in EIA process, and engaging with the private sector for more responsible practices.
The agreement was covered in local media, including here.
Photo: The activities shown here are part of the multi-stakeholder approach of DPA to help ensure compliance of mining companies (Credit: DPA)
This is an outreach announcement from the USAID-funded Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE), a key supporter of The Mekong Eye.