The need for sustainable investment or supporting community initiatives to better the lives of people long after a resource project ends, was one of the main topics discussed during a recent media workshop on the media coverage of the extractive industry.
A presentation by Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) at the recent two days Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Media Workshop, highlighted the need to report or put out more information to the public on what extractive resource companies are doing in the project impact communities in terms of community initiatives apart from the usual extraction of raw materials.
OTDF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Havini Vira said they are focusing on supporting the people in Ok Tedi in Western province to further improve their lives after the Ok Tedi Mine ceases operation in about 7 years’ time.
He said the OTDF covers projects and initiative that support the delivery of services to the people. OTDF has a good network with the communities that enables them to provide support to the villages especially.
“We have village planning committees in each of the villages and what they do is they have meetings and nominate projects. Then we will assess them, identify priority areas, and support them on that,” said Mr. Vira.
The sustainable investment in these areas is important as it is also a measure of how the funds coming from the project (OTML) is being used to the benefit of the people at the community level and so far, Mr. Vira informed that a lot has been done under their development priorities for 2021 to 2023, which includes SME support for women and youth groups, agriculture and other community initiatives funded through OTDF for the people.
OTDF was formed as an independent entity to manage Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) funds for and on behalf of the communities. It manages community development benefits from OTML operations on behalf of the 158 CMCA villages.
OTDF delivers projects through a unique partnership between mining, the people and government. It is mandated to ensure the wise and sustainable use of wealth created from mining operations is available for community development and for future generations.
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Media Workshop themed “PNG Resources: Resilience, Transition, Growth,” was attended by most of the companies in the mining and petroleum sector along with experts in this area and representatives from the various media houses in the country.
The workshop covered a range of topics including the up-and-coming LNG and mining projects in the country, landowner issues, and the ways in which the media and the extractive resource companies can work together in better reporting the developments in the mining and petroleum sector.
The two days media workshop was held at the Loloata Island Resort just outside of Port Moresby city from the 21st to the 22nd of April.