Story | 29 Apr, 2019

Experts discuss mining impacts and alternatives for environmental sustainability in developing regions at IAIA ’19

Brisbane, Australia, 30 April 2019 - Key recommendations for restoring the health of the severely-damaged Rio Doce watershed in Brazil will be featured this week at the annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment, IAIA ‘19.

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Photo: © IUCN/ Carolina Dellama

From April 29 to May 2, experts from around the world are gathering here to discuss how impact assessments can evolve to meet today’s challenges and help development and infrastructure projects incorporate good practice in their environmental decision-making and management.

In the session entitled Resilience Sustainability - Environmental sustainability in large mining projects in developing regions, experiences from different countries, including Brazil, will showcase innovative approaches that can contribute to regional development and biodiversity conservation as well as socio-cultural diversity.

Recommendations outlined in the Rio Doce Panel’s first report, Impacts of the Fundão Dam failure: A pathway to sustainable and resilient mitigation for the Rio Doce Basin, as well as the Panel’s most recent issue paper on economic development alternatives, will be presented together with experiences carried out in India, Ecuador, South Africa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. All of these examples demonstrate the important role environmental governance and multi-stakeholder partnerships in mining projects can play in in these regions.

The presentation by Rio Doce Panel member Luis Sanchez, a mining engineering professor at the University of São Paulo and expert in impact assessment, and Stephen Edwards, Senior Programme Manager for IUCN and coordinator of the Rio Doce Panel, will feature the complex governance model created to address the restoration and rehabilitation of Rio Doce watershed following the Fundão dam failure in Brazil.  The speakers will also explain why the Rio Doce panel is taking a long-term perspective that will enhance sustainability and resilience within the affected watershed.

IAIA, an IUCN Member organisation, is the leading global network on best practice in the use of impact assessment, a staple tool for the mining industry and development projects in general. Therefore, sharing experiences from developing countries can help to improve these processes and the uptake of best practices in monitoring large mining ventures.

More information about the conference is available here.