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Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the mining industry

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the mining industry

Jul 12th, 2017

This “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the mining industry” blogpost looks at what was defined as minimal requirement for a Risk Assessment applied to a mining orphan site in 2013, as a result of Public Hearings in the NWT.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the mining industry

It then examines recent development in the field, welcoming the apparently general request for multidimensional consequence analyses.

A bit of reminiscing

For the reclamation of Giant Mine the MVREIB, an Environmental Review Board in Arctic Canada quoted the following five requirements for a socially and technically acceptable risk assessment in 2013.

  1. Compilation of a proper glossary containing a description of all the terms used in the project and its development, especially those that might have a common use, which differs from the technical meaning (such as “risk,” “crisis,” “hazard”) in compliance with ISO 31000.
  2. Definition of the project context in compliance with ISO 31000, including all the assumptions on the project environment, chronology, etc.
  3. Properly defined Hazard & Risk Register covering:
  • Clearly defined system of macro‐ and subsystems/elements and their links describing for each one of them:
    • (a) expected performances,
    • (b) possible failure modes,
    • (c) quantification of the related ranges (to include uncertainties) of probabilities evaluated as numbers in the range 0–1 (mathematical characterization) with a clear explanation of the assumptions underlying their determination, and
    • (d) associated magnitude of the hazards and related scenarios.
  • An independent analysis of failure/success objectives.
  • A holistic consequence function integrating all health and safety, environmental, economic and financial direct and indirect effects.
  • Applicable published correlations and information.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the mining industry

More recently The Global Platform was established for implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted in Sendai, Japan, in 2015. At the 2017 Global Platform conference it was stated that there continues to be a real risk that indicators will continue to measure the costs of disasters in dollars rather than taking into full account the implications on the health, culture, environment, customs and ways of life of affected social groups – or using the best technologies to identify the arrival of drought or the poisoning of water, earth and air, without the powers necessary to mitigate them.

At Riskope we are please to see that health, culture, environment, customs and ways of life of affected social groups are all considered to be valid failure criteria that should be taken into account in the multidimensional consequences of potential accidents.

Indeed, we wrote in a paper at CIM back in 2013 that the public distrust towards the mining industry came from the fact that consequences are oftentimes poorly defined. We also wrote that we should take into account “indirect/life-changing” effects on population and other social aspects that can be grasped in ORE using simplified method and considering the wide uncertainties that surrounds the driving parameters. Among these:

  • human H&S,
  • fish, fauna and top-soil/vegetation consequences,
  • long term economic and development consequences, and
  • social impacts.

The Sendai Framework is clearly in accordance with us by stating :”It is likely that peoples and communities will recover confidence in institutions if there is clear evidence of the willingness of States to guarantee the right to life. This means that States would have to return to work for effective regulation and protection of people – and that industry will have to adapt and respect international agreements and covenants with no tricks. It can be done.”

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the mining industry

We can note here the similarity between the Sendai Framework and the Aashukan Declaration of April 2017

Closing remarks

It seems that preserving Social License to Operate and showing leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility require risk assessments to become transparent, analyze the complexities of consequences and allow transparent dialogue between stakeholders.

Riskope has been working in those directions and has handy solutions for you. Contact us to learn more.

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Category: Consequences, Hazard, Mitigations, Risk analysis, Tolerance/Acceptability

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