Corporate Social Responsibility: Mining Companies Reach Out to Indigenous Communities
“Mining companies must engage constructively with indigenous communities,” said Aidan Davy, Senior Program Director for International Council on Mining & Metals, who spoke at the second annual Mining, People and the Environment conference on March 5, 2011.
Davy highlighted the importance of developing meaningful relationships with indigenous populations at every stage of the decision making process. Mining companies are faced with the challenge of respecting the traditional culture, while also engaging members of the community who are often overlooked, including women and young people.
For the mining industry, there are numerous social and economical benefits associated with collaborating with indigenous communities. The relationships foster credibility in the marketplace, an advantage in a competitive global industry. Other benefits enjoyed by shareholders and the indigenous people alike include land agreements and a common understanding for each other’s social ideas and merits.
Though the relationship can be a positive experience, many companies have not been properly equipped with the information vital to succeeding. To assist, ICMM published a review on Indigenous Peoples and the mining industry, which lays out practical steps and best practices for companies to follow and explores the cost of getting it wrong.