Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, – A two-day conference on “Building cooperation and reducing conflicts between stakeholders in the mining industry” started today on the shore of Lake Issyk-Kul. The goal of the conference is to develop ideas to prevent conflicts and strengthen cooperation among authorities, mining companies, and local communities. Representatives of national and local government, mining companies, international groups, and non-governmental organizations are participating.
The conference has been organized by the State Agency of Geology and Mineral Resources in partnership with the Local Transparency and Cooperation Initiative Program, implemented by the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia (EFCA) with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
This conference is a follow up to a round table discussion on “Effective cooperation between local populations and investors” with Prime Minister Joomart Otorbaev in June 2014. Round table participants encouraged regular meetings among stakeholders to improve cooperation between mining companies and local communities. “It is possible to reduce the risk of conflict through transparency in the work of state agencies and private mining companies, and through public awareness campaigns,” said the Director of the State Agency for Geology and Mineral Resources, Duyshenbek Zilaliev.
Conference attendees will also hear about the USAID Local Transparency and Cooperation Initiative Program. “EFCA has been engaged in the development of local communities for a long time, so we could not neglect the misunderstandings around the mining industry. With support from USAID, we launched a program to prevent conflict in communities where mining companies operate. We conduct awareness campaigns with the local population and local authorities to share information about the benefits and risks associated with the mining industry,” said EFCA executive director Dinara Musabekova.
The Local Transparency and Cooperation Initiative Program implemented by the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia is one of many projects made possible with the support from the American people through the United States Agency for International Development. The program seeks to improve the quality of public and municipal services, and increase transparency, public confidence, and mutual understanding in the mining industry. Additional information is available here: http://www.efca.kg/project-view/local-transparency-and-cooperation-initiative/.