MiningWatch's Jamie Kneen attended the 6th meeting of the African Initiative on Mining, Environment and Society (AIMES) July 4-9 in Lusaka, Zambia. The conference was organized by Citizens for Better Environment (CBE) of Zambia in conjunction with Third World Network-Africa of Ghana. Thirty-one participants attended the conference, from Zimbabwe, Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Nigeria, South Africa, Canada, England, Guinea and Zambia.
The meeting reviewed the latest developments in different countries across the continent, and analysed various mechanisms to protect communities affected by large-scale mining projects. The group discussed human rights protection, for example under the African Union; accountability and transparency initiatives such as Publish What You Pay and accounting for ecological debt; and reversing national mining and trade and investment policies that do not benefit national economies or host communities.
The group also committed to continue to work to make AIMES into a fully functioning network of organisations, academics, and community representatives, sharing information and working in solidarity to support each others' campaigns and initiatives. Further documentation will be made available as it is finalised.