Rio Tinto and IUCN continue to discuss the possibility of a formal relationship arrangement, with an IUCN Secretariat staff visit to Australia and Indonesia during November and December, 2008 and a visit to the London headquarters of Rio Tinto in January, 2009.
Dennis Hosack, Programme Officer and IUCN-Shell Relationship Manager, travelled to Australia the last week of November, 2008 to meet with Rio Tinto staff, IUCN members, and other stakeholders. Dr. Hosack visited Rio Tinto staff and operations in Melbourne, Newcastle, Singleton, the Hunter Valley, and Perth, Australia, before heading to Jakarta, Indonesia to continue the meetings. IUCN members and partners met with included: Conservation Council of Australia; Western Australia Department of Water, Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland; Birds Australia (Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union); The Samdhana Institute; Walhi (Friends of the Earth Indonesia); UNESCO, Coastal and Small Island, Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific; Indonesia Biodiversity Foundation (Kehati); WWF Indonesia; UNDP, Human Right, Legal & Justice Sector Reform; and Judicial Reform Team in Supreme Court of Indonesia.
In mid-January, Dr. Hosack met with additional IUCN members who have ongoing relationships with Rio Tinto, including Birdlife International, Earthwatch, Flora and Fauna International, and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
Currently, the negotiations continue to proceed, with IUCN and Rio Tinto discussing a site visit to one of Rio Tinto’s mine sites before mid-2009, in order to receive further feedback on issues and potential relationship issues to be addressed in any future agreement.