The objectives of the OECD Mining Regions and Cities project play well into the objectives of MIREU, and therefore these two projects decided to partner up and collaborate, which you could read about in our last newsletter. Both projects aim to develop networks of regions specialised in mining and metallurgy, in order to promote the implementation of better regional development policies and to increase the collaboration and knowledge sharing among the mining regions, both within the European Union and globally. This way, the sustained and sustainable supply of mineral raw materials can be ensured on a global and regional scale and a 'bottom-up' climate for improved acceptance of extractive industries can be created. MIREU can support the OECD in developing a global view on topics such as smart specialisation in a mining context, land use planning, and smart and green mining. Simultaneously, the OECD can link MIREU to a global network and provide additional opportunities for knowledge sharing and peer review.
As the mining and mineral processing often is carried out in remote regions, which also must manage the possible adverse impacts, both MIREU and the OECD work towards making these regions benefit more broadly, also in terms of improved well-being and quality of life. There is an increasing recognition that if the local communities do not perceive mining activities add value to their lives, then support for such activities decreases. Consequently, improving lives for the citizens is not only important on the individual level, but it also contributes to the competitiveness of regions and can reduce regional inequalities.
Ensuring well-being in mining regions and cities contributes to commit the global community to “leave no one behind” and enables progress to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore, the goal of the projects is also to engage stakeholders, including policy makers, national governments, regional authorities, and the local public, to initiate and further enhance the cooperation and discussion across all levels. The cornerstones of the MIREU-OECD cooperation were set already during the 1st and 2nd OECD Meeting of Mining Regions and Cities in Antofagasta, Chile, in October 2017 and in Darwin, Australia, in November 2018, respectively. At the high-level workshop on the Governance and Policy within Mining and Metallurgy EU Regions in León, Spain, in January 2019, the cooperation was further discussed.
Now MIREU is taking part in the 3rd OECD Meeting of Mining Regions and Cities, taking place on 12-13 June in Skellefteå, Sweden, and co-hosting a pre-conference workshop on the Quality of Life in Mining Regions and Cities on 11th June. The third OECD Meeting of Mining Regions and Cities will focus on two key questions:
1. How can mining be a driver for improved regional well-being?
2. How can mining contribute to environmentally sustainable regions for future and current generations?
The event is designed for representatives from different levels of government, the private sector and civil society. It will provide the opportunity for a global dialogue on experiences and leading practices on issues related to mining and regional development. The MIREU partners Wolfgang Reimer from GKZ and Santiago Cuesta López from ICAMCyL will give talks in workshop on Local and Regional Smart Specialisation Strategies – greening resource-based development on 12th June. In addition, the MIREU Regions of Västerbotten, Lapland and North Karelia take part in the panel discussions on 12th June. On 13th June, MIREU partner Anna Ostręga from AGH University of Science and Technology takes part in a workshop on Culture and creative industries to enhance attractiveness. For more information on the upcoming and previous events and registration please visit the dedicated conference webpage.
The pre-conference workshop will bring together key regional and industry stakeholders from the EU, Latin America, Australia, and North America. The workshop will provide an opportunity for the participants to deep-dive into one of the key themes of the OECD project: quality of life and well-being. This includes topics such as skills, housing, public services, community infrastructure and environmental issues. The results of the pre-conference will provide evidence to support guidance for OECD member countries on regional development policies in a mining and extractives context. Furthermore, the results can be used when developing the pan-European social responsibility standards and an accompanying toolkit for the mining industry.
The pre-conference workshop has the following objectives:
1) Strengthen and expand a network of mining regions that can provide a platform for knowledge-sharing, peer review, and action;
2) Manifest and deepen the partnership between the OECD mining initiative and the MIREU project, linking MIREU participants with international stakeholders;
3) Based on the OECD well-being framework, develop a concept for internationally comparable indicators tailored to well-being in mining regions and cities (including alignment with SDGs); and
4) Identify policy lessons and leading practices to enhance quality of life for mining regions (including attractiveness, labour markets and skills, land use and housing, innovations in service delivery, environmental issues, and inclusive growth).
The pre-conference participation is by invitation only. If you are interested in joining the pre-conference workshop, please contact Kaisa Turunen from MIREU (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Lisanne Raderschall from OECD (email@example.com).