MAC: Mines and Communities

The view on NGOs

Published by MAC on 2002-04-17

The view on NGOs

We're told that NGOs (mostly lumped together in the same basket and unidentified, except for those which collaborate with industry) often exaggerate, make dubious claims of damage and lack transparency. Hardly any concrete examples are provided.

While profuse in its praise of some NGO activities, MMSD cannot refrain from reflecting the widespread, but ignorant view expressed by mining executives (notably Robert Wilson in a recent speech), that they exploit "information about issues arising halfway around the world and of which the organization has no direct knowledge". Having set up this straw dog, the report proceeds to kick it. NGOs must "demonstrate that they have considered the values and views of other stakeholders", while "proposed solutions will be more readily accepted if they come from a process that has clearly considered trade offs" [Chapter 16 page 23]. Ah yes, those chimerical "trade-offs" again!

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