A new Canadian institute that will help developing countries benefit from their mining resources in environmentally and socially responsible ways was officially launched in Vancouver today.
The Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development (CIIEID) is a coalition between the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and École Polytechnique de Montréal (EPM). Institute Interim Executive Director Bern Klein was joined for the launch in Vancouver by UBC’s Vice President Research & International John Hepburn, SFU President Andrew Petter, and EPM CEO Christophe Guy.
“Nations want to develop their mineral, oil and gas resources,” says Klein, also a professor of mining engineering at UBC. “But many lack the regulatory and policy frameworks to make the most of their natural resources, while also considering the needs of affected communities. We want them to have the capacity to use their resources to enhance livelihoods, improve dialogue and mitigate environmental harm.”
In November 2012 the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (then CIDA) announced the award of $25 million to a coalition of the three academic institutions to form the Institute. Since then, the Institute has set up operations and is connecting with partner nongovernmental organizations, governments, professional associations, and industry. It is now beginning program development.
Programming will put the Institute and its partners’ knowledge and resources at the service of foreign governments and local communities. Its work will focus on four main areas: applied research, community engagement, education, and governance of natural resources.
For more information about the Institute, visit the website at: http://ciieid.org.
BACKGROUND / QUOTES
The Hon. Christian Paradis, Minister for International Development and La Francophonie
“Our Government is proud to have founded this new world-class centre of expertise. Canadians have a great depth of knowledge when it comes to improving and strengthening resource governance. The advice and guidance provided by Canada through the new institute will help reduce poverty, leverage private sector investment and create jobs.”
John Hepburn, Vice President Research & International, University of British Columbia
“Universities are uniquely positioned to generate and share new knowledge. UBC has a strong track record in the field of sustainable, socially responsible mining and we are delighted to join hands with our colleagues at Simon Fraser University and École Polytechnique de Montréal to effect lasting change.”
Andrew Petter, President, Simon Fraser University
“Our goal is to help communities identify needs, then work with government and industry to make sure that when the mine closes and the company leaves, they will still be able to earn a decent living, drink from uncontaminated local water supplies, and enjoy a good quality of life.”
Christophe Guy, Chief Executive Officer, École Polytechnique de Montréal
“Over the last forty years, Polytechnique Montréal has been involved in a significant number of development programs and projects across all continents. Polytechnique is committed to the values that guide the Institute, including sensitivity to gender equity, alignment with priority needs of developing countries, and sustainability.”