RESOLUTIONS FROM NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE  CONFERENCE ON JUST MINING IN SIERRA LEONE
29TH - 30TH SEPTEMBER, 2000

Introduction:

Sierra Leone, a country rich in mineral resources was plunged into a brutal
civil war about a decade ago. The war reached alarming humanitarian,
political and historic proportions when the RUF employed diabolical
strategies like arson, chopping off limbs of children, women and the aged.
This aroused the concern of the international community, which was quick in
establishing the link between diamonds and the continuation of war in Sierra
Leone.

International concern climaxed with the publication of a study undertaken by
Partnership Africa Canada entitled The Heart of the Matter: Sierra Leone,
Diamonds and Human Security. The launching of the said report in Sierra
Leone by the Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD) on January
12th 2000 was immediately followed by the establishment of a Civil Society
Task Force which launched a "Campaign for Just Mining" using the
recommendations in the report and other findings pertaining to the mining
industry in Sierra Leone.

Since then, the Task Force has organized four regional consultations on
mining did case studies in the Southern and Eastern regions, held a
symposium, conducted radio and TV panel discussions in a bid to gathering
and collating the views of key players in the mining sector on the one hand;
and sensitizing and educating the public on mining issues on the other.

The National Consultative Conference held on September 29th and 30th brought
together the local stakeholders (community people, traditional rulers,
dealers, mining companies, government representatives and civil society
groups) in the mining sector and international partners in order to reach
consensus on issues at stake and identify concrete solutions for a just
mining programme in Sierra Leone.

Topics / Themes

The discussions in the consultation revolved around the following themes:
Security issues relating to mining
The role of government in mining
The impact of mining on the environment
Generating and distributing revenue from mining
The role of local communities
The role of civil society
The cultural implications of mining

KEY ISSUES AND RESOLUTIONS

1. Security:
Key issue: Rebel control of major mining areas and how to gain control of
those areas.
Resolutions
With immediate effect to clear/liberate the diamond mining areas of rebels
through e.g. private security firms
Ban mining (diamond) in Sierra Leone for at least 5 years
Declare UN trusteeship over diamond mining areas

2. The Role of Government in Mining:
Key issue: Formulation of a pro-people mining policy
Resolutions
Liberation of mining areas now occupied by rebels
Foreigners must be removed from mining areas and definition of citizenship
reviewed to be by birth and not by ownership of Sierra Leonean passport
Stringent control of border areas by dedicated and motivated security
personnel
To ensure a policy of national reserve for mineral resources
Mining to be entrusted in the hands of a few credible local and
international companies with alluvial mining being restricted to Sierra
Leoneans
Educate local communities about environmental issues in mining
To encourage De Beers and other credible international mining companies e.g.
Rapaport to open an office in Sierra Leone
Re-introduce the permit system for residents in mining areas
Licenses, taxes and royalties should be made competitive with other
countries
10% government royalties to be allocated to communities for community
development programmes

3. Impact of Mining on the Environment:
Key issue: Environmental degradation of mining areas in Sierra Leone
Resolutions
The current clause in the mining policy relating to the environment be
maintained
To ensure the rehabilitation of mining areas before, during and after every
mining activity
All mechanisms and structures relating to mining should have qualified
environmentalists
Mining companies and miners to rehabilitate mine out sites after mining
activity

4. Generating and Distributing Revenue from Mining:
Key issue: Serious problems associated with generating and distributing
Revenue from mining
Resolutions
The management of large scale companies must involve at least 50% Sierra
Leonean nationals
More information and transparency in the mining industry
Provision of social amenities e.g. health centres/hospitals, water systems,
schools (scholarships), bridges, recreational centres etc. before mining
commences

5. The Role of Local Communities
Key issue: The effects of mining on local communities is devastating
Resolutions
Promote cultural revival and education in communities and schools
respectively
Educate the community about environmental issues
To monitor the implementation of mining policies and operations of mining
companies
Ensure that proper environmental impact assessment is done, terms of mining
is negotiated openly with all stakeholders involved and consensus arrived at
before mining should start

6. The Role of Civil Society
Key issue: Networking, advocacy and Campaigning
Resolutions
To ensure that local communities and civil society's active involvement in
mining policy formulation, implementation and monitoring/evaluation is
evident.
Civil Society to ensure their representation in the management of the GGDO
Civil society should network with international partners in order to build
the technical knowledge/capacity of the Task Force on mining issues
To ensure that the resolutions from this National Consultative Conference
are implemented and followed through at all levels

7. Cultural Implications of Mining
Key issue: Consequences of mining on culture
Resolutions
Mining companies to accord respect to community shrines, Society bushes and
other cultural related issues
Selective mining and planning of mining sites

8. International Dimension
Key Issue: A healthy international environment favorable to peace and
development.
Resolutions
The Security Council to establish stronger links with and give support to
the Sierra Leone civil society groups especially working on the "Just Mining
Campaign". They should be invited to represent the country and make
positions on the mining situation.
The Embargo on Conflict Diamonds should be imposed simultaneously on Guinea,
Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.
All countries and people implicated in the Sierra Leone diamond saga must be
thoroughly investigated and brought to book.
The capacity of civil society must be enhanced/built to help transform the
mining sector.
See http://www.sierra-leone.org/nmjd093000.html

CONTACT:
The Task Force on Just Mining in Sierra Leone and
Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD)
18, Big Waterloo Street-Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa.
Tel: 232-22.223378/229937 Fax: 232-22.225486
Email:
nmjd@sierratel.sl
web site http://www.sierra-leone.org/

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