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Venezuela’s President hosts Gold Reserve’s Team at Miraflores Palace

As Gold Reserve Inc.’s progresses the development of the join Brisas-Cristinas project, the company’s most senior officers, and environmental and social consultants - including yours truly - involved in the original Brisas Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), were hosted by President Nicolás Maduro at the Miraflores Palace, the official workplace of the President of Venezuela.

The topics of discussions included the current conditions at the KM88/Las Claritas area of Venezuela (see YouTube documentary), which shows the scares of decades of artisanal and small-scale mining activities in the region, and opportunities for transformative changes using modern and responsible mining practices.

The Venezuelan government has been pursuing the diversification of its economy through the industrialization of the mining sector as its 14th economic growth engine about which I blogged here.

Fulbright Academy Summit on Global Health

dikembe mutomboFollowing a successful conference on Sustainable Cities held in the UAE, the Fulbright Academy is now gathering members of the Fulbright community and other leaders to tackle the global health crisis. This event will be held from 24 to 27 May 2013 in Jamaica. Key note speakers includes sex therapist Dr. Ruth, NBA legend and philanthropist Dikembe Mutombo, and Ambassador Pamela BridgewaterUpdated conference information/links posted below.

http://wp.me/p27qSt-vc

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BHP MOZAL Smelter Back for OECD MNE Review

OECD Watch reports that UK National Contact Point for OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises re-initiated review of BHP Billiton's bypass case of its MOZAL smelter in Mozambique after IFC Compliance Advisor Ombudsman appears to have failed to facilitate a resolution of this case.  Read More

US launched Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade

The Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade was launched in November 2011 to promote conflict-fee mineral supply chains in Eastern Congo and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Will it help resolve conflict minerals related due diligence and reporting concerns of major brands? Will it be able to attract other governments and multilaterals?  Read More

Hidden Gems of King III and GRI plus 12 Report

Michael Rea's annual research on South African sustainability reporters contains hidden gems: what are commonly and rarely used GRI indicators?

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IFC Performance Standards Revisions Entering Final Lap

In its recent CODE Progress Report on IFC Sustainability Framework Review and Update ( December 1, 2010), IFC notes that, with exceptions (such as the Access to Information Policy), majority of proposed changes are clarifications rather than material changes.  Read More

Phase II Consultation on IFC Performance Standards

IFC launched a second round of public consultation to update the IFC Performance Standards (2006), which provide also the basis for the Equator Principles. In mid June 2010, the first meeting was held in Washington DC. It attracted over 5o participants from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and industry.What are the emerging themes? Read More

Perenco (Oil & Gas) Published First CSR Report –Why Now?

Inaugural sustainability reports, even if they don’t hit all the right notes, empower internal champions and create opportunities for better stakeholder engagement and transparency, and can help drive  performance improvements. But are you not intrigued to find out what catalyzed and motivated Perenco, an independent oil and gas company operating in places like Gabon, DR Congo, Peru and Guatemala, to create its first CSR report? Is it perhaps related to the recent creation of a $2.8bn reserve-based lending involving Equator Banks, which will also assist with completion of a controversial oil pipeline in Peru’s rainforests? Read More

Canadian CSR Councellor Launches Consultation on Dispute Resolution Mechanism

The Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counsellor launched consultations on its new dispute-resolution mechanism. Will this - and the role of the CSR Councellor more generally - make the controversial Bill C-300 obsolete? Read More

Convergence of GRI and IFC Performance Standards?

As noted earlier, GRI and ICMM launched the new GRI Metals and Mining Sector Supplement during the annual mining convention of PDAC in early March 2010. The new Sector Supplement integrated many references to the IFC Performance Standards and suggests increasing convergence amongst these internationally recognized guidelines. Read More