Chamber of Mines commissions study to improve livelihoods of communities

The Ghana Chamber of Mines in partnership with United Nations Global Compact has commissioned a study to help reduce communities’ economic dependence on the mines, making them self-sustaining even after inevitable mine closures.

Dubbed “Integrated Alternative Livelihoods Framework for Mining Communities”, the study surveyed current alternative livelihood practices among selected mining companies in the country.

It solicited views of key stakeholders involved in delivering sustainable alternative livelihood programmes and proposed a common framework for developing alternative livelihood projects in mining communities based on best international practices.

The study will serve as a checklist of issues, aimed at prompting mining companies to pursue the right linkages between various elements of any alternative livelihood project development.

Speaking at a validation workshop on the study in Accra, Ms Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Mines noted that the initiative underscored the Chamber’s quest to promote sustainable development in mining communities.

The validation workshop was attended by representatives of stakeholders in the mining sector, including Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Lands Commission, UN Global Compact, the Chamber, mining companies, mining communities, and civil society.

Ms Aryee said “The Chamber and the UN Global Compact sponsored this research to take a wider approach from previous alternative livelihood activities rather than just considering how existing alternative livelihood systems could be harmonised”.

She said available social data showed that it would be prudent for mining companies to select their alternative livelihood programmes based on a common framework, while staying within their own corporate requirements to achieve optimal results.

Ms Aryee said the study covered six thematic areas which included developing local economy based on the presence of mining companies, promoting rural private sector by supporting micro, small to medium enterprises, and regulatory reforms on mining policies that would formalise and strengthen the corporate social responsibility agenda.

The rest were education and advocacy of alternative livelihood programmes by mining companies, monitoring and evaluation of alternative livelihood programmes, and marketing of alternative livelihood projects, goods and services.

Ms Aryee said, “We recommend that all stakeholders involved in the delivery of alternative livelihood programmes initiate an all inclusive effort to reverse the escalating trend towards poor planning, design, implementation and monitoring of alternative livelihood programmes in the mining communities”.

Mr Sam William Quaye, Director of SWQ Consulting Limited, one of the two firms undertaking the study on behalf of the Chamber and the UN Global Compact, said the proposed alternative livelihood framework focused on core objectives at the community level relating to non-mining economic activities, land access management, quality of life and diversification of income generation, taking into account the various situations pertaining to individual mining companies.

Source: GNA

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