Mining Sector Policy Dialog, Information Portal, and Youth Engagement

Project Time Period:

June 2020 – March 2021

Funding Agency:

Financed through Transparency International with funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Project Description:

The project will build on the previously completed ITAMSPE project outputs, and will further strengthen the key stakeholders’ awareness about the EITI process and responsible mining, as well as will initiate and manage policy dialogue process on mining, engage youth on mining monitoring and EITI standard, and come up with a resource portal with all available information about mining in Armenia. 

Project Background:

Armenia’s joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2017 has been a constructive step in bringing accountability and transparency into the sector and enabling public access to reliable information. The recent developments, however, show that the issue of mining is still highly contentious in Armenia and lacks proper understanding of key social and environmental challenges and opportunities for the Armenian mining sector and as well as a common mineral extraction strategy which will be in line with international good practices and which will contribute to sustainable development. 

The effective implementation of the EITI and fostering of cooperation between government, businesses, and civil society can be reached through the initiation of a multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on mining. The policy dialogue process will link community groups, NGOs, industry, and government agencies and will aim at building the stakeholder commitment, involving local groups in the policy reform process and explaining the institutional and governance context. It will (a) build a shared awareness of mining issues in Armenia, the possibilities for the future, and the constraints and opportunities of the current situation; (b) debate over different possible courses of action to pursue a common purpose of having responsible mining in Armenia; and (c) decide on a strategy/action plan comprising commitment by individual entities and multi-stakeholder teams. 

Furthermore, currently in Armenia, there is no common platform that will provide comprehensive information on the mining sector of Armenia. Therefore, the project will create a mining information portal that will have geospatial, economic, environmental, and demographic data on the sector in Armenia. It will give policymakers, exploration companies, scientists, NGOs, and other interested parties access to data, reports, maps, and scientific background information about the mining sector of Armenia. 

In addition, recognizing the need to engage youth and civil society on the management of natural resources, the project will continue to enlarge its youth and civil society/community engagement activities in extractive sector governance and monitoring issues. The project is aimed at not only to increase local ownership of the EITI process by young generation and increase outreach, but also to ensure maximum use of the data in the EITI reports by young persons, thus contributing to increased transparency and accountability for future and enhance the analytical/monitoring skills of the youth.

To create favorable conditions for the effective implementation of the EITI in Armenia, it is necessary to continue improving key stakeholders’ awareness about the EITI process. With this aim the project will continue building the capacities of Armenia’s EITI MSG members, local CSOs, and youth to engage on the EITI principles and requirements, as well as performance standards and community and civil-society oversight possibilities.

Target Beneficiary Groups:

Interested CSOs;
Active local groups, youth, activists;
Community members;
Authorities and policy-makers;
EITI MSG members;
Students; and 
General public. 

Project Objectives:

Project is aimed at:

– Initiating a policy dialogue process on mining through which all interested parties will be able to voice their views and concerns and which will ensure the diversity and inclusivity of stakeholders and topics related to responsible mining;

–  Providing comprehensive information about the mining sector in Armenia through creating a mining information portal which will have economic and geospatial data on the sector;

– Continuing strengthening youth and communities so that they could better understand the environmental and social issues of the sector; enhance their knowledge and capacities about the EITI principles and standards and about responsible mining/mining monitoring in general so that their involvement into the management of natural resources is increased.

Expected results will include: 

– Open multi-stakeholder discussion of policy decisions on Armenia’s mining sector with the aim of initiating improvements in mining-sector management in Armenia using international experience. It will also help to create coordination channels between CSOs and national and local stakeholders and among CSOs at the regional/global level.

– An online mining information platform and as a result improved access to the available data on mining sector in Armenia; and

– Increased capacities of youth, CSOs, local governments to actively participate in EITI processes and responsible mining concerns. 

Project Components:

Mining Policy Dialog Process
Mining Information Portal
Youth Engagement