The stable and sustainable supply of mineral raw materials is paramount for future socioeconomic stability and innovation in the European Union (EU). Mineral resources are however bound to their location and mineral policies need to address various factors that are impacting supply, such as multiple and competing stakeholder interests and land-uses, cross-scale institutional complexity and complex planning procedures. This requires a fair and straightforward permitting process, whilst ensuring that mineral raw materials are produced in a socially and environmentally sustainable way. The SUMEX (SUstainable Management in EXtractive Industries) project aims to establish a framework of what sustainability means for the extractive industry in Europe.
The framework will be applied across the whole extractive value chain to analyse the mineral, as well as relevant economic, environmental and social policies of the EU, member states (MS) and selected regions along five focus areas - socio-economic and environmental impact assessments, land use planning, health and safety, reporting official statistics and permitting processes/policy integration. The overall goal of our project is to identify good practices for an open access toolkit, which will help a broader Community of Practise (CoP) to build on the state-of-the-art and which will form the basis for the future capacity building. This CoP will consider all relevant stakeholder groups, with a particular focus on permitting authorities in different European regions. In this context a series of workshops/webinars will take place and a digital platform will be provided to facilitate future work in this area.
Within the SUMEX project, WUR will work on issues of urban land policy, sustainable land management, and co-supervise the development of policy integration. We will also contribute to the project on issues of regional planning and environmental assessment.