It’s hard to believe it’s June already. Here at MPI we are not that into financial years (apart from accounting, audits, budgets etc….) preferring to keep an eye on mining instead. And while it is hard for any small civil society organisation to measure progress against the mining industry, 2013/14 has been an impressive year for MPI.
While not claiming to have reformed the entire industry, we have done some great work across a number of projects, countries and foci. I’m particularly pleased with our Hidden Valley documentary, directed by MPI’s Jessie Boylan, which our members can now see for the first time (follow link, password: mpi). Pleased because MPI was the conduit for the message from affected communities, as reflects our approach. The message from the Morobe communities in the 22 minute documentary was about self-determination and responsible development, decided by the people, not mining companies or remote governments. Lets us know what you think.
2013/14 has also been a good year for MPI research. In some ways, returning to the late 1990’s and early 2000’s when MPI was larger and we could do more original research, aimed at changing the way mining is practiced. In late May a new book on the extractive industry in Western Australia was launched, entitled Resource Curse or Cure? It examines the impact of the mining industry from a variety of perspectives including women, Indigenous, environment, regulatory (more below). MPI’s Executive Director and our Chair, Dr Gavin Mudd co-authored a chapter on Mining and the Environment in WA. This added to the papers MPI contributed to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s, Deep Sea Mining Series in late 2013. The two chapters, Drivers for the Development of Deep Sea Minerals in the Pacific (co-authored with John Feenan) and Anticipating Social and Community Impacts of Deep Sea Mining (co-authored with Sara Bice) sought to identify potential impacts and apply a bit of honesty and scrutiny to what is really driving the increasing interest in deep sea mining. (publications link).
In Australia, our Mining Legacies project grew considerably. The project has a long-term aim – to get Australia to recognise and accept responsibility for the many thousands of legacy sites across Australia. In coming weeks we will be further improving the website and presenting a paper to the AusIMM Life-of-Mine Conference in July. The paper sets us the challenge of mining legacies, the need for reform and federal multilateral states/territory action (lookout for paper in July MM).
Much also happens behind the scenes with little fanfare. I would like to thank all of MPI volunteers and supporters for their volunteer and financial contributions that enables our work. So that together we can help mining affected communities and work on longer term reform. Special thanks to Josette, Gavin, Mia, Richard, Adam, Jessie and Andrea who make it all possible. To our monthly donors, thank you for making this year possible.
MPI is fiercely protective of our independence. While much of our work is voluntary, we do need funds to keep the door open (figuratively – we have a virtual office), to be in a position to take on the important (but un-funded) work as well as to continue seek funding for our projects. So I ask you to please consider becoming a monthly donor. Asmall monthly donation from you, can make an enormous difference to the work we do as a small, industry specialist CSO.
Thank you, Charles Roche, Executive Director (Honorary) MPI.