Introducing ‘Mongolia Research Hub’ at the University of Queensland

Today, more than ever before, research and informed discussion is required to successfully negotiate Mongolia’s rapid development in the face of interrelated political, economic, social and environmental challenges.

The Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) part of the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI), has launched Mongolia Research Hub as an initiative to promote collaborative research and discussion on the opportunities and challenges for sustainable development presented by the rapid growth of Mongolia’s resource industry.

CSRM’s research is committed to improving the environmental and social performance of the resources sector globally. In Mongolia, CSRM has engaged with mining related issues at the national, regional and community level with a diverse range of partners and is rapidly expanding its expertise in the field.

Current Research focus

In 2013, CSRM won an AusAID Development Research Award Scheme (ADRAS). The ADRAS is AusAID’s flagship competitive research program, funding primary research projects to improve the quality and effectiveness of Australian aid in developing countries. The project, titled ‘Managing the impacts of minerals development on women and men and their traditional livelihoods in Mongolia‘ will be conducted from June 2013 until June 2015. The project is collaboration between interdisciplinary team of researchers based in Australia and a range of partners in Mongolia, including NGOs, universities and government agencies. As the first output, the research team has produced two videos that show the dramatic change of two mine sites, Tavan Tolgoi coal mine and Sharyn Gol mine, over the past four decades, using Landsat satellite imagery.

CSRM has also launched a research project, titled ‘Tracking the Negotiation and Implementation of the South Gobi Cooperation Agreement (SGCA)’ that seeks to better understand the effectiveness of negotiated agreements in developing country settings as a key mechanism for managing community impacts and benefits through structuring mutually beneficial relationships between resource companies and host communities. The main focus of the research is Rio Tinto`s ongoing agreement making with host communities and local government authorities around the Oyu Tolgoi mine in the South Gobi Province (Umnugovi Aimag) of Mongolia. More information on the agreement can be found here: www.goviin-erin.mn

CSRM’s researchers are also involved in a number of research projects focusing on specific themes identified in the Mongolian context, including a research project on understanding the dynamics of interaction between recent extreme climatic disasters and the current resources boom, a project on potential Gender Based Violence (GBV) in mining communities, and finally a project on enterprise development in mining zones in Mongolia.

These various projects highlighted in the Mongolia Research Hub, seek to contribute and inform debates concerning sustainable minerals development globally, while assisting Mongolia map its specific mining and development trajectory.

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