Citizens for Justice was invited to the annual general meeting for International Alliance for Natural Resources in Africa that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa on the 9th and 10th of July, 2015. Among other things the meeting meant to look at the Pan African Advocacy Project, look into the draft of the First Principles and the Model Mining Law, Developing an Advocacy Strategy and more involvement of IANRA members in between general assemblies.
Following the opening remarks by Anne Mayher, the Chairperson of IANRA gave his report highlighting the increase in Human Rights violations and community exploitation by companies in the extractive industry. This report sparked a debate on the direct involvement of communities in the work of IANRA which majority of those available in the meeting agreed that IANRA is open to Community Based Organizations although the constitution provides for eligibility.
The secretariat report followed highlighting IANRA’s focus since the last AGM held in Zimbabwe in 2014. The report stated that the secretariat has focused on the Pan African Advocacy Project, supporting Tafadzwa for project catchup and planning and intensifying project activities that were due by the end of the second project year, relationship building, overseeing and looking around the work of WOMIN. This report also started a heated debate around the existence of WOMIN as an independent organization from IANRA. WOMIN which initially started as IANRA’s exploratory project to address women’s’ issues in mining was now branching as an independent organization and a lot of concerns were raised looking at this as a precedence for all other projects to follow under IANRA.
The next report was the financial report and the only concern under this report was that the hardcopy that was presented to the audience was not containing the same figures that were contained in the presentation. The finance department was urged to look into this to make sure that there is maximum accountability and transparency.
Looking at the 1st Principles and the model mining Law, the participants at the meeting were divided into four groups to discuss:
1. What can be done to contribute to the collective advocacy process around the 1st Principles and the Model Mining Law. The following were the interventions that all the groups presented:
• Domestication of the Mining Law on National Level targeting the policy makers , the CSO’s and the communities that we speak for.
• Build capacity of our policy makers so they can be able to represent the people fully.
• Have a mapping process to compare the progress that different countries have made as far as laws around mining are concerned.
• Use the draft laws and Principles to give recommendations to different countries taking into consideration different contexts at country level.
• Create a platform for knowledge and experience exchange.
2. How can we build a joint collective campaign in support of raising awareness, deepening understanding and build support for the model mining law?
• Develop a joint campaign strategy
• Take advantage of the regional platforms such as the People’s summit, SADC summit and AU summit to reach out to policy makers.
• Developing a campaign slogan.