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DPA-EISEI Network

Introduction

EISEI serves as a national level communication and knowledge-sharing network created to facilitate the study and dissemination of information regarding environmental impacts from Cambodia’s growing extractive industries. This network is envisioned to provide a solid foundation for implementing future education, technical support and advocacy initiatives addressing community and civil society concerns about extractive industry activities in Cambodia.

EISEI Goal

EISEI’s long term goal is to foster a cooperative and productive relationship between communities, government ministries and the private sector entities involved in and affected by the extractive industry in Cambodia. This relationship is intended to provide a voice for underrepresented communities and to facilitate greater access to information concerning EI operations and related developments with the aim of addressing issues arising from the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources in Cambodia. The EISEI network will provide an arena and framework for this relationship to develop and flourish.

EISEI Objective

EISEI’s main objective is to promote and sustain dialogue between affected communities, government ministries and the private sector that enables all sectors to benefit from the development of extractive industries in Cambodia while minimizing adverse impact to its land and people.

Activities crucial to achieving this main objective are:

1- Promulgating the idea of, and need to obtain, free, prior and informed consent from potentially affected communities as early as possible in the extractive industry development process;
2- Minimizing the potential for EI projects to force communities from their land or restrict their access to natural resources;
3- Minimizing the potential for EI projects to result in long term adverse social and environmental impacts;
4- Minimizing the presence of EI projects in areas of high cultural and/or ecological value;
Proactively supporting responsible management of pollutants and contaminants associated with EI projects.

EISEI Strategies

EISEI’s implementation strategies hinge on network outreach and education, conducting or coordinating technical analysis of social and environmental impacts from extractive industries, and advocacy at the local, provincial, national and international level.. These three strategies are presented in further detail below:

Network Outreach and Education Plan

Upon finalization and adoption of the EISEI network structure, objectives and strategic plan by the EISEI Steering Committee and EISEI member organizations, an outreach campaign will be initiated targeting the three constituencies central to EISEI’s effort – affected communities, government ministries and private sector EI operators. However, due to significant knowledge and socioeconomic gaps between these three constituencies, the primary focus of EISEI’s network outreach plan will be to conduct educational outreach and advocacy training at the Community, Local and Provincial levels to build the capacity needed for these groups to engage productively with all stakeholders. In order to encourage EISEI’s desired outcome with each group, EISEI will tailor the focus and communication style used to engage the three categories of stakeholders. Therefore, in addition to a standard range of outreach formats (i.e. NGO position papers, radio announcements, etc.) additional work will be done to present EISEI to all three constituencies in the most meaningful, relevant and informative fashion. Some specific items for each group could include:

Community/Local and Provincial Level

1. Visually focused learning materials (see appendix) addressing social and environmental impacts, the EIA process, relevant laws, etc.;

2. Village, district or srok level community events with EI awareness as a central theme (presented through theater, music, contests, etc.);

3. Capacity building with community members and network member organizations to organize and engage actively in: a) dialogue with the full range of stakeholders, b) learning about and actively participating in existing local government institutions and, c) appropriate advocacy initiatives concerning EI operations affecting them or their constituents.

Government/National Level

1. Increase capacity of affected communities to engage relevant government agencies and ministries;

2. Partner with relevant agencies to share information and expertise on EI issues;

3. Explore formalizing such arrangements with MOUs, official project partnerships, etc.

Industry/International Level

1. Produce a body of materials in relevant languages (i.e. Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese) in order to increase awareness of applicable industry standards regarding social and environmental responsibility and best management practices at the company level, and potentially the company’s home government level;

2. Where requested, support companies and industry to develop, promote and implement environmentally and socially responsible approaches to resource extraction.

Membership

The DPA-EISEI Network is hosted and facilitated by Development and Partnership in Action (DPA). DPA-EISEI Network is governed by a nine member steering committee, elected by the network members. The current EISEI Steering Committee includes representatives of Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Building Community Voice (BCV), Community Legal Educaion Center (CLEC), Development and Partnership in Action (DPA), Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP), Rural Development Association (RDA), Community Peace Network (CPN), Ponlork Khmer and Village Support Group (VSG). The steering committee works together with the DPA-EISEI Secretariat to implement activities in conjuntion with the EISEI Network Strategic Plan.