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Keeping an eye on the beasts: social monitoring of large-scale mines in New Guinea

CollectionsANU Resources, Environment & Development Group (RE&D)
Title: Keeping an eye on the beasts: social monitoring of large-scale mines in New Guinea
Author(s): Banks, Glenn
Keywords: Melanesia
Papua New Guinea
mining agreements
social monitoring
environmental monitoring
best practice
community control
social and economic effects
Publisher: Canberra, ACT: Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Project (RMAP), Division of Pacific and Asian History, Research School for Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University
Series/Report no.: Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program (RMAP) Working Paper: No. 21
Since the late 1980s, mining agreements in Papua New Guinea contain a clause that says or implies that there should be something called social monitoring carried out around the mine site. This tends to be an addendum to the much more comprehensive environmental monitoring requirements. There is also a (somewhat reluctant) recognition within the industry that some form of social monitoring is ‘best practice’. In this paper I begin with my vision of where social monitoring in New Guinea is in terms of ‘best practice’. Two developments in social monitoring apparent over the last seven years are then discussed: greater community control over the monitoring programmes, and the apparent loss of interest in social monitoring by all parties involved, but primarily by the sponsors, the companies. I conclude with some possible reasons why there is effectively no social monitoring currently being carried out in the industry in New Guinea, and provide some thoughts on future directions.


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