The need to address the sustainable development of the extractive industry and the reduction of its environmental footprint was addressed by several national and international initiatives, both from the private and institutional sectors. A lot of initiatives arise in Europe and Raw material now became of highest priority in EU policy.
Among all this initiatives the EC FP7 project EO-MINERS will use current knowledge and data, along with existing and new technological and scientific earth observation-based methods and tools, to monitor mineral resources exploration and mining from concept to closure and observe, monitor and provide information to manage its impacts on the environment and society.
EO-MINERS scientific and technical objectives hence are in fact to assess policy requirements at macro (public) and micro (mining companies) levels and define environmental, socio-economic, societal and sustainable development criteria and indicators to be possibly dealt using Earth Observation (EO); and to use existing EO knowledge and carry out new developments on demonstration sites to demonstrate the capabilities of integrated EO-based methods and tools in monitoring, managing and contributing reducing the environmental and societal footprints of the extractive industry during all phases of a mining project . Moreover it will contribute making available reliable and objective information about affected ecosystems, populations and societies, to serve as a basis for a sound “trialogue” between industrialists, governmental organisations and stakeholder.
The methodological developments are carried out over three demonstration sites to cover the variety of mineral deposits, environmental issues, and legal constraints.
Targets and Aims
The aim of EO-MINERS is to bring into play EO-based methods and tools to facilitate and improve interaction between the mineral extractive industry, the society and their governments in view of the requirements of sustainable development while improving the societal acceptability of extractive activities. In order to achieve this, EO-MINERS will use the trialogue, that is “an interchange and discussion of ideas among three groups having different origins, philosophies, principles, etc.”.
The three groups involved in the EO-MINERS trialogue are the industry, the government and the civil society.
The EO-MINERS project is supported by the European Commission under the Environment (including climate change) Theme of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. The project will co-ordinate the expertise and multidisciplinary skills of 9 EU partners, from 5 EU states, 1 partner from Associate Country and 4 partners from 2 ICPC countries.