|Equitable Cambodia launches A Community Guide to Mining: Impacts, Rights and Action|
August 21, 2012
Equitable Cambodia is proud to announce the launch of our latest popular education resource, aimed for communities affected by mining development in Cambodia. A Community Guide to Mining: Impacts, Rights and Action provides critical information in accessible format to affected communities on all stages of the mining process, the possible impacts of mining operations on communities and the environment, the relevant legal processes and social and environmental safeguards, and strategies that affected people can employ to defend their rights.
As the mining industry gathers momentum throughout Cambodia, individuals and communities have to deal with its massive impacts on their environment, their land rights, and their access to common natural resources upon which their livelihoods depend. Indigenous Peoples have borne the brunt of most mining development in Cambodia, which has in some cases threatened their cultural identify and way of life. While greater resource development can bring benefits to all Cambodians, without proper regulation, scrutiny and community engagement, mining can devastate communities and natural habitats.
It is therefore crucial to equip communities affected by mining development with an accessible and effective resource so they can be active participants in the development process, make informed decisions about whether or not to provide their consent to mining development on their lands, and know and defend their rights if they find themselves negatively impacted by mining operations.
Following two years of research and drafting, Equitable Cambodia and our partner, Development and Partnership in Action, field-tested the curriculum in Phnom Penh in August 2010. Participants were from grassroots NGOs and community networks working on mining issues around the country. Their feedback and recommendations on the material, based on their wealth of experience working with mining-affected communities, fed into the development of this training resource. We then held two more extremely productive field-testing sessions with affected communities in Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri before finalizing the curriculum.
The Facilitators' Edition provides clear lesson plans with interactive activities to help people understand the information, take part in discussions, and learn important skills, whether or not they can read and write. The participants' edition acts both as an aide to the training and an ongoing resource for dealing with the powerful actors in mining development, including government authorities, mining companies and the media.
Equitable Cambodia would like to express our sincere gratitude to Oxfam, Norwegian People's Aid, Blue Moon Fund, Amnesty International, Open Society Institute and the McKnight Foundation for their support of this initiative, as well as the core donors to our Community Empowerment and Legal Awareness Program, Diakonia and Planet Wheeler - whose support has been essential to bring this resource to publication.