The main objective of this RMC is to ensure the smooth application of two key EU policies (mining and environmental) for the implementation of non‐energy mineral extraction activities in Natura 2000 protected sites.
The specific objectives are:
- To harmonize the EU permitting procedure for the exploitation of non-energy minerals in Natura 2000 sites
- To ensure the public acceptance of sustainable mining activities in the Natura 2000 protected sites.
The operative objectives are:
- To develop an standarization protocol in the permitting procedure for the exploitation of non-energy minerals, harmonizing technical requirements and timelines in all the EU Member States.
- To demonstrate in practice the sustainability of specific installations through the implementation of a demo sites in Europe.
- To further disseminate the results in a coordinated way among all the EU stakeholders.
ACTION 1: Creation of the final Working Group
The initial task will consist in the formal creation of a Working Group based on the members of the SUMAN 2000 RMC. The network will include in the initial stage new partners in order to better cover the European diversity and the points of view of the different EU stakeholders.
The network will need to cover at least the following profiles:
- Non-energy mineral extractive industry
- RTD Centres
- Regional and local communities
- Member States
The RMC confirmed members will ensure the complementarity of the profiles in order to avoid duplicities.
ACTION 2: ANALYSIS OF THE STATE-OF-THE-ART
Second action will perform the following tasks:
- Analysis of the different methodologies followed at national and regional level for the permits approval for exploration, research and exploitation of mineral resources in areas affected by the Natura 2000 sites
- Compilation of the la Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) of mining exploitation projects affected by the Natura 2000 sites and study of the common technical aspects.
- Compilation of the jurisprudence (final court sentences) related with the use of mineral resources and the interpretation of the Habitats and Birds Directives (Directive 92/43/CEE - Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) - Directive 2009/147/CE - Special Protection Areas (SPAs)) and study of the common legal aspects.
ACTION 3: DEFINITION OF THE PERMITTING PROCEDURE PROTOCOL
Third action will perform the following tasks:
- Development of common supporting document of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) that harmonise the technical assessment criteria, providing an effective tool for the evaluation of the projects to the Competent Authorities.
- Development of a coherent protocol of standardization in the permitting procedure to obtain the necessary licences for the exploitation of non-energy minerals, inside Natura 2000 sites.
Main objectives of the protocol will be:
- To establish common technical requirements to be applied by each administration in the permitting procedure
- To set maximum deadlines and stricter schedules in each part of the process and in the global procedure
- To reinforce the actions of citizens participation and involvement to ensure the acceptability of the decisions taken.
ACTION 4: DEMONSTRATION SITES IN NATURA 2000 AREAS
The Working Group will implement the protocol previously defined in exploitations in several Natura 2000 protected sites. This implementation will consist on the full demonstration of at least one specific installations. The objective of these demo sites will be:
- To evaluate the protocol established.
- To demonstrate the factual sustainability of the solutions adopted.
- To generate a coherent portfolio of practical experiences to be disseminated
ACTION 5: FINAL DISSEMINATION PLAN
Finally, the Group will develop a coordinated action of dissemination of the results and the advantages of the experience implemented.
This dissemination will take into account the main stakeholders in the process and will establish:
- Target Groups.
- Key messages to communicate to each group
- Channels of Communication to better reach each group
- Plan of specific communication actions
The dissemination will include actions on each Member State, around 2-days events. One full day will be devoted for the Public Administrations’ technicians and mining sector companies; and another full day for the general public.
There will be a special leaflet for its distribution in the events and to be distributed among other interested stakeholders (Universities, vocational training centres, associations…) in supporting the sustainability of mining activities.
The Working Group will demonstrate how the potential impacts of extraction activities on nature and biodiversity can be minimised or avoided altogether.
Main specific results will be:
- To develop a common European protocol of standardization in the permitting procedure to obtain the necessary licences for the exploitation of non-energy minerals
- To generate many examples of best practice, and show how some extraction projects can ultimately be beneficial to biodiversity by providing highly quality ecological niches
- To show how the needs of extractive industry can be met while avoiding adverse effects on wildlife and nature.
Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries are heavily dependent on the non-energy extractive industry for essential raw materials. The economic imperatives are clear: the sector had a turnover of around €49 billion in 2007, and it provided employment for some 287,000 people. Downstream sectors reliant on a steady supply of raw materials swell that importance even further.
Natura 2000 is the centrepiece of EU nature and biodiversity policy. It is an EU-wide ecological network of nearly 26000 sites in the 27 EU countries, established under the 1992 Habitats Directive and covering almost 18% of the EU’s land area. The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species, habitats and ecosystems, which, in addition to their intrinsic values, offer a wide range of social and economic benefits to society.
To build the economy of tomorrow, we have to take care of our environment today. This means that the extraction of raw materials can be done and must be done with a concern for the natural world to ensure sustainability.
MAGNESITAS NAVARRAS is a manufacturer of raw material (Sintered Magnesite) and of final products (refractory mass) for use at the siderurgy industry. It is also one of the principal producers of Calcined Magnesite for use in fertilizers and animal nutrition, and has an increasing presence in the environmental sector. The company has 60% of its invoicing to the external markets. RMC: development of mining exploitation in a Natura 2000 area.