The OECD meeting in Skellefteå, Sweden, on mining regions and cities, went beyond a sectoral view to understand how to deliver wellbeing for regions specialised in mining and extractive industries. Central to this is how to ensure a just transition to a climate neutral economy and prepare local workers for digitalisation and automation. It also included a focus on responsible resource development in the arctic and engaging with indigenous peoples on these issues.
Research fellow Leneisja Jungsberg presented how local smart specialisation is an approach to build capacity for local authorities dealing with resource-based industries in sparsely populated areas. It is a bottom-up approach engaging local community in questions related to social and demographic development, land-use issues and local economic benefit retention. Karen presented in a session exploring opportunities of utilising bio-economy models and processes in the mining sector. Leneisja Jungsberg previously worked with the REGINA project, an NPA project focusing on regions with large-scale projects that have large impacts on the local communities.
Some key issues raised during discussions were:
- Ensuring diversified economies in the mining communities
- Considering the related industries – think circular economy
- Mining companies to become more proactive in “illustrating responsible behaviour
- Involve and include the stakeholders in the communities in the process
- Be alert to the growing demand for new minerals and metals for the digitized economy
- Who benefits and who is responsible in the development of the mines
- Consider rental fee agreements, royalties etc
- Development of Skills
- Responsibilities for social, health, housing and culture services
- Local land use planning: Guidance on spatial data, geographic information systems and foresight in the Arctic
- REGINA Policy brief 2017:1: Local Smart Specialisation: a strategy for remote communities with large-scale resource-based industries
- Local smart specialisation: a step-by-step guide to social impact management in remote communities with resource-based economies