Alternative Mining Indaba in Cape Town

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) is taking part at the 8th Alternative Mining Indaba running in Cape Town on the 6th – 8th of February at the Double Tree Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) is an international platform that was established in 2010 by civil society in their efforts to provide an alternative voice emanating from the investment made by the private sector in the Africa Mining Indaba which has been hosted for over 20 years without meaningful participation of communities and civil society.

The AMI platform goes beyond profits, mergers and acquisitions offered by the mining sector by focusing on community development strategies, calling for good governance of revenues and in particular seeks to define and find ways to implement ethical policies in the extractive sector value-chain. The AMI thus pursues conditions for a positive broad based economic and social outcome, while avoiding any negative environmental and social effects.

Over the years, the AMI has grown into becoming the biggest gathering and movement for civil society and communities on mineral resources governance. This year’s gathering has the participation of over 400 delegates from across the globe.

As an organisation, we remain committed to link the communities and other stakeholders we work with to regional level platforms for learning and sharing. This year, ZELA has supported 4 community members and a Member of Parliament to participate at the AMI. This support is to ensure that issues that emerge from the Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI), which is hosted yearly, find space in the regional discussions and agenda on mineral resources governance.

The delegation is expected to share lessons and key issues that will emerge at the regional platform to others back in Zimbabwe as a means to strengthen community activism, engagement and national advocacy towards improved mineral resources governance nationally and the region.

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association is one of the active players in the AMI, being the former Chair of the Steering Committee member of the AMI and a current member. In the past, it has facilitated various sessions and this his year, ZELA has expanded its participation during the AMI by hosting a side event in line with its aspiration of expanding its work into the region through the sharing of effective models that ensure improved natural resources governance.

As defined by its strategic plan, ZELA has developed and implemented a model anchored on investing in engagement with people, business and government that seek to improve mineral resources governance in the country through ensuring effective and constructive engagement among all the stakeholders that have an interest or are impacted by mining.

This year’s AMI is running under the theme: “Making natural resources work for the people: Domestication of the African Mining Vision (AMI): From Vision to Reality”. Which conjures ZELA’s aspiration of ensuring shared value from mineral resources governance. The specific objectives of the 2017 AMI are:

*To provide a platform for communities affected by the extractives industries to reclaim their rights through the formulation of alternatives.
*To advocate for transparent, equitable and just extractives practices in the management, governance and distribution of national resources through policy and legislative reform.
*To create meaningful decision-making processes for communities, advocating for just national and regional policies and corporate practices.
*To provide space for engagement for the inter-faith communities, governments, CSOs and private sector to share information and experiences.
*To provide space for the inter-faith community to lead and accompany affected and impacted communities.

To contribute towards the realisation of the AMI objectives and the theme, the ZELA’s side event titled: “From the Grassroots Up: A Multi-Stakeholder Engagement model for unlocking shared value in mineral resource governance” is designed as a platform for sharing ZELA is model of work on engagement with different stakeholders at the different levels of programing.

Speaking on the sidelines of the AMI, the ZELA Director Mutuso Dhliwayo shared that “The side event by ZELA will share results of its model of the Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI) in the form of a documentary, linkages of the ZAMI with the Alternative Mining Indaba and the importance of the platform in creating space for multi-stakeholder engagement”.

The side event will also include key presentations from various stakeholders on ZELA’s engagement model and how it has driven successful policy advocacy interventions as well as detail the necessary steps for effective engagement and some of the challenges that are associated with engagement.

It is expected that after the three days conference, CSOs and communities will come up with a declaration that shall be presented to government and business corporations hosting the Mining Indaba. The same declaration will also shape the key issues that will guide the movement in its advocacy work for 2017 in countries and the region.

[For more information: Visit AMI 2017 or Email Darlington / Veronica Phone Veronica: +263771803205]

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