This Guidebook is intended to assist companies, investors, state and local authorities, and international agencies to prevent and manage potential conflicts related to the Kyrgyz mining industry.
In 2011, there was an upsurge in conflict between mining companies and local communities in Kyrgyzstan. In response, in 2012, the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia (EFCA) commissioned research to understand the causes of conflict in mining districts throughout Kyrgyzstan.
In addition, beginning in 2012, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic initiated policy and legal reforms to protect the rights of mining-affected communities and strengthen regulation of the mining sector. This Guidebook aims to increase companies and potential investors’ understanding of the causes of conflict in Kyrgyz mining sector and to recommend steps they can take to prevent and mitigate conflicts with local communities in the future. It also provides a guide to companies’ legal obligations according to current Kyrgyz law, particularly requirements aimed at protecting the rights of mining-affected communities.
Section 2 of this Guidebook describes the causes of mining-related conflicts that took place between 2010-2015. This presents the findings of primary research conducted in 2012 in six districts where conflicts between local communities and mining companies use have taken place: Talas, Jumgal, Chatkal, Ala-Buka, Chon Alay and Kadamjai districts.
Section 3 sets out practical recommendations for mining companies and investors operating in Kyrgyzstan, focusing upon steps they can take to prevent conflict with local communities. The recommendations are based upon research and consultations with all parties – central and local government, mining companies, and local communities – and have been reflected in various ways in Kyrgyz policy and legal reforms. They have are also based on examples of good practice from a number of locations where company-community conflicts have been prevented or resolved.
Section 4 provides an overview of mineral policy reforms led by the State Committee for Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of the Kyrgyz Republic, in cooperation with local authorities, mining companies, and donors. These include the introduction of new laws and regulations aimed at protecting the rights and interests of local communities affected by mining operations as well as initiatives to raise awareness among the local population of the mining industry and related environmental concerns.