Workshops on Handling Conflicts and Grievances in Mining Underway

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Jamaica News: The Mines and Geology Division is staging a series of workshops on conflict-sensitive mining and grievance-handling mechanisms for stakeholders in the mining sector.

The objective is to equip persons with skills to address conflicts, which left unresolved, could affect productivity, operational efficiency, and impact the emotional health and well-being of workers.

Some 39 stakeholders benefited from the first two-day session held from August 13-14 at the division’s Hope Gardens location in St. Andrew.

Two other workshops will be held from August 16-17 in Montego Bay, St. James and from August 20-21 in Mandeville, Manchester.

Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Dr. Janine Dawkins, said the workshops address a key issue in the mining sector.

“With the multiplicity of stakeholders representing diverse interests, conflict is a phenomenon within the mineral sector. So, as stakeholders, each of us must develop the necessary skills and competencies to manage, resolve and minimise the negative manifestations of these conflicts,” she pointed out.

She argued that the benefits from the sessions will extend to the wider community.

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“Our records show that the development minerals industry account for the direct employment of at least 850 persons and the ripple effect of this employment is multiplied within the families and the communities. So, what is learnt is not only applicable to what is happening within the sector, it really extends into the communities and we must apply it to the places we live and how we conduct day-to-day activities,” Dr. Dawkins noted.

She expressed the hope that the skills and techniques that have been shared will increase operational efficiency, and facilitate stronger integration among the operators and other persons in the industry, and the communities that are impacted.

Meanwhile, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI), Dr. Oral Rainford, said the participants will be provided with insight into the necessity and value of conflict management, and the rewards to be achieved by all parties when effectively implemented.

He said that the JBI is an “ardent supporter of conflict prevention and conflict management” and is pleased to be involved in the hosting of the workshops.

The sessions are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific- European Union (ACP-EU) Development Minerals Programme, which is a three-year, €13.1 million initiative that aims to build the profile and improve the management of the development minerals industries in ACP member states.

It is being funded by the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and implemented by the UNDP.

The workshops will examine conflicts in the development minerals sector, including the judicial, non-judicial and traditional conflict management and grievance-handling mechanisms that are applicable, and suggest options for efficient handling of sector-related conflicts inspired by the local context.

The first two-day session was attended by representatives of regulatory agencies and local authorities; private stakeholders such as small-scale mining enterprises and associations; and social stakeholders such as civil society and community groups.


Source: JIS News

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