Saturday, January 05, 2013

Here it is !

The Devonshire Initiative is a forum for leading international development NGOs and mining companies to come together in response to the emerging social agenda surrounding mining and community development issues.

The Devonshire Initiative is the sole collaborative problem solving forum of its kind in Canada that is aimed at improving on-the-ground community development outcomes.

with the support of,

Canadian Business for Social Responsibility
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Canadian International Development Agency
Canadian Trade Commissioner Service
Centre of Excellence in CSR
CSR Counsellor for the Extractives Sector
DFAIT Investment Cooperation Program
EEM Sustainable Management
Equator Principles
Extractive Industries Transparency Directive
Foregin Affairs and International Trade Canada
Global Reporting Initiative
Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development
International Development Research Centre
International Finance Corporation
Natural Resources Canada
The Partnering Initiative
Stanford Social Innovation Review
U.S. Agency for International Development
Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights
World Bank Group

The objective of the Devonshire Initiative (DI) is improved social and community development outcomes wherever Canadian mining companies operate overseas.

The DI believes that collaboration is the preferred avenue by which to reach this objective. The DI works to develop a constructive space in which stakeholders can discuss complex problems facing mining and development, identify common opportunities, and develop innovative on-the-ground collaboration.

The DI sees industry/NGO collaboration and strong linkages with both Canadian and local governments as a means to an end. The DI provides four specific areas of value addition to its members and stakeholders:

Enhancing in-country capacity to allow communities, regions and countries to more visibly realize the benefits of Canadian mining investments;
Opening dialogue that creates a better understanding of, and that deepens engagement on, social and community development components of CSR work being done by Canadian mining companies operating in developing countries;
Enhancing cross-sector Canadian engagement with, and understanding of community development issues; and,
Sharing innovations and best practices within the mining and development community.


For international development NGOs:

Evidence that working with the private sector positively impacts our constituent communities on the ground;
Access to best practices, lessons learned, and a community of common interest;
Opportunity to influence the thinking and practice of very significant private sector development actors; and,
Understand risks associated with a multi-stakeholder approach to mining and development and share strategies with other NGOs.
For the mining industry:

A space for dialogue with relevant actors to raise awareness of best practices in responsible community investment and development;
Opportunities for cross-sector partnerships with NGOs in order to improve the outcomes of community development initiatives. Even with all the existing guidelines, structures, procedures, and consultants on the ground, challenges continue to arise that are best managed through the multistakeholder processes;
Enhancing the contribution made by the mining sector to broad-based socio-economic development, both at the macro (national) and micro (site) levels; and,
Changing the way industry is viewed; raising awareness of the work it currently does, and addressing myths with a core group of stakeholders.
For government and multilateral institutions:

Access to leading thinkers and practitioners on CSR and multistakeholder partnering;

Opportunity to sound out needs, priorities, and policy in a constructive, established, and proven environment;
The DI is ready, willing, and able to assist in implementing CSR and public-private partnership strategies; and,
Opportunity to invest in a proven process that would catapult Canada as a leader on CSR and public-private partnerships.

28 Nov 2012 debate on mining and excerpts: 

I will name individual company names, because I think it is important that we know what has gone on, and part of our role in the House is to help people to bear witness to what has happened in recent years. When we launched the report, I said:
“We cannot stand by and witness these global mining companies brutally impoverishing and destroying the lives and environments of whole communities. We need not only to expose this exploitation but also to demand that a firm system of…regulation”—
both national and international—
“control and accountability is put in place that halts the destructive activities.”
Those activities are not just destructive in the developing world and of the long-term interests of those individual companies and their employees; they are destructive of London’s standing in international markets, because reputational damage that such companies are doing to London will undermine the long-term future of our economy.

28 Nov 2012 : Column 113WH
worked for the local authority and turned from gamekeeper into poacher straightaway thereafter. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that, just as we require Members of the House not to do business connected to matters they have dealt with as a Minister, we should encourage companies set up in this country to ensure, through the shareholders’ action, that such persons, with whom the companies have dealt, are not then immediately hired on to their boards?
John McDonnell: I fully agree, but it needs more than shareholder action. I think it is the responsibility of the Financial Conduct Authority, under the auspices of the Bank of England, to introduce specific regulation to prevent some of these things from taking place. That will give confidence to those who want to invest in these companies and who want to look on London as a place where companies operate properly, legally, with probity and with a commitment to ethical corporate behaviour.
Let me give two last examples. I protested at the Vedanta annual general meeting this year because I was so angry about the company’s behaviour. Vedanta has been criticised for its behaviour in Armenia and Zambia, but it is in India where it has come in for the heaviest criticism, for the manner in which it ignored environmental legislation and literally bulldozed its way into tribal land in Orissa, in the hope of constructing a huge bauxite mine on land sacred to the Dongria Kondh people to feed its illegally constructed alumina refinery.
I have also been dealing with the company in Goa. I met representatives of the Save Goa Campaign recently. I congratulate the Indian Government on setting up the Shah commission, which ruled in September that all the mines in Goa were operating illegally because they were not abiding by environmental standards. All the mines were shut overnight, and a court case is going on this week to see which ones can reopen if they have abided by basic environmental standards. Vedanta and others have undermined the agricultural base of the Goan economy, polluted the water and threatened the tourism industry. I commend the Save Goa Campaign: local people and the Goan diaspora have exposed what has gone on. I also commend the Indian Government for taking decisive action. However, Vedanta, as the main company involved, has made fortunes from exploiting the Indian subcontinent.
Finally, there is Xstrata. It is involved with the Cerrejon mine in Colombia; it is involved in the hugely controversial Tintaya mine in Peru, which has been a focus of fierce conflict over the years as a result of the pollution; and it is involved in the Philippines, where its Tampakan project is strongly opposed by indigenous people. The Argentine federal appeals court has also upheld criminal charges against Xstrata general managers in the past.
My view is straightforward. I have read out that list of examples because they are shocking. These companies are all listed on the London stock exchange. We need to take responsibility in this country, and I wish this had been more decisively dealt with when the Financial Services Act 2012 was before us. If these companies wish to be listed on the London stock exchange, they must first show complete openness and transparency; they must ensure that there is financial probity; and, above all else, they must be prevented from doing London reputational damage. We will achieve that by making sure that they abide by corporate ethical standards, and 
28 Nov 2012 : Column 114WH
that means ensuring that the FCA and the Bank of England have a role, including in delisting companies, if necessary, because of their behaviour in the developing world.

Phulbari, Monterrico Metals
What is interesting is that the company is one of those that have been promoted by this Government, as it was by the previous Government. Despite receiving a series of freedom of information requests recently, the Government have refused to provide information about their relationship with the company and about the support they have given it and its operation in Bangladesh. In its response, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office explains it will not provide the information
“because we consider that the disclosure of this information would be likely to prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and Bangladesh”
and because it would
“prejudice the UK Government's internal relations with the Bangladesh Government”.
In other words, the Government would be ashamed of the support they have given this company if it came to light, and the Bangladeshi Government would be furious—understandably so, from the sound of the work that has been undertaken to promote the devastation of the region.
Monterrico Metals was originally linked to the Phulbari project through the company’s previous chairman. Monterrico has also received help from the British Government. In fact, the former British ambassador to Peru, Richard Ralph, spent part of his ambassadorial time talking up the advantages of Monterrico’s Rio Blanco copper project in the Andes. He tried to reassure local organic farmers, most of whom are vehemently opposed to the project, which threatens their livelihoods, that the production of large amounts of toxic waste and the pollution of local water supplies would be good for them. What an extraordinary coincidence it is that when the ambassador retired, he became chairman of Monterrico Metals. Later, he was prosecuted as a result of insider trading. Again, a huge majority of local people rejected the company’s proposals for the Rio Blanco mining project, and there were protests, during which people were killed.
The London stock exchange has four of the top five mining exploration and extraction companies by market capitalisation—BHP, Rio Tinto, Xstrata and Anglo American. There are 119 extractive and mining companies listed on the London exchanges, of which 12 are UK companies. We want to ensure that investors can hold boards to account and encourage responsible business behaviour. We have high standards of corporate governance, but it is important that we are not complacent. Further strengthening those standards will help London stock markets, because it will give major investors more confidence.
British MPs: Scope for more cooperation with Odisha Inc
By Express News Service - BHUBANESWAR
22nd August 2012 11:58 AM
  • Photos
  • odisha.jpg
    Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik meeting with British Parliamentary delegation at Secretariat in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday | Shamim / Express pho

A British parliamentary delegation on Tuesday showed keen interest in investing in private sector, particularly small-scale enterprises in the State.
“We are tremendously impressed with the progress in the UK-funded projects in Odisha. We have seen fruits of work, done by the Odisha Government, in areas like health, sanitation and agriculture,” Alan Haselhurst, who led a nine-member delegation of British parliamentarians, told mediapersons after a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.
He also commended the work for providing protection against malaria and other diseases. “There is clear justification for increasing British aid flowing into the State. It has been a moving experience,” Haselhurst said adding the delegation would present the positive story to the UK Government after returning.
Besides discussing the need for greater cooperation with Odisha government, the British parliamentarians, accompanied by representatives of UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), visited several project sites and held discussions with senior officials.
“One of the things we are trying to do now in addition to work we do with the Government in health and educational programmes is to provide some investment in private sector too,” DFID acting Asia Director Sam Sharpe said during the team’s visit to Milk Mantra, a dairy project located near Gop in Puri district.
“I think from DFID you can expect some investments in small-scale enterprises and start-up companies,” he added.
“We certainly believe there is scope for cooperation between British companies and enterprises here,” Haselhurst said.
DFID State official Sailesh Kumar said the UK is increasing its support to channel funds where private sector agrees to partner DFID’s mission to sustain innovative investments in the field of agriculture.
The Chief Minister hoped that the cooperation between the DFID and the State Government will be strengthened in the coming days. Naveen referred to his meeting with the Minister of DFID during his visit to the UK in May in which spread of education among ST girl students in the State and development of urban infrastructure were discussed.
Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik, Development Commissioner RN Senapati and secretaries of various departments were present.

No comments: