“The Georgian Mining Sector Strategy approved by the Government of Georgia is not a national policy adopted with participation of stakeholders; therefore, it must be revoked,” states the study prepared by Green Alternative which assesses the first attempt of developing a national mining sector policy in Georgia.
Labyrinths of Georgian Mining Sector Development Planning reviews the process which took off as adopting the state policy in mining sector but ended up by adopting the state strategy instead. The study draws attention to the lack of transparency which has become common in mining sector in Georgia, and describes the lack of openness while working on a document defining the national policy.
“Decisions related to the mining sector – laws, sublaws, or mining licenses - they are all made without the participation of public, the interested parties, or individuals and communities affected by the mining projects. We hoped that the first document to adopt the state policy in this sector would have been developed with public participation but, unfortunately, it did not happen so.
“Even the involvement of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which participated as the financial and technical supporter in the policy planning process, could not ensure the improvement of the country’s existing standards. EBRD did not ensure the process of public participation to be lead according to its own standards which, on its side, are based on the Aarhus Convention. The process went worse than could have been imagined,” said Kety Gujaraidze, the policy analyst of Green Alternative and the author of the study.
The study concludes with the opinion on risks related to the possible conflict of interest seen in mining sector of Georgia. Those risks emerged with the movement of the former head of the National Agency of Mines, from public office to the private sector, in the same field and her possible involvement in the development of the new mining legislation, also supported by the EBRD.
Please find the full study here.