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Promoting consultative extractive practices and peace-oriented local advocacy in Kyrgyzstan

This project aims to prevent conflicts and build peaceful dialogue between mining companies and local communities in Kyrgyzstan.

For 20 years, the relationship between extractives companies and local communities has been tense in Kyrgyzstan. Communities affected by mining activities are outraged by the uneven distribution of wealth, high unemployment rates and the environmental damage. Misunderstandings and lack of communication between communities and companies often result in conflicts and violence.

Focusing on three areas in Issyk-Kul and Jalal-Abad oblasts (regions), we will run focus groups with local communities to identify the impacts extractives companies have in their areas. Special attention will be paid to including young people in these discussions and to identifying community representatives.

We will then provide training to these community representatives in non-violent advocacy, focusing on conflict analysis, mediation, advocacy techniques (including media and social media), critical thinking, and methods of peaceful promotion of interests.

We will also run workshops with representatives of the extractives companies, to discuss their relationships with local communities and how they deal with community concerns. As part of this, we will teach them about non-violent advocacy methods too. Representatives from the companies will then be invited to participate in consultation workshops with the communities.

These consultation workshops will provide an opportunity for companies and communities, as well as local authorities, to discuss and begin to address any grievances they have constructively and in a safe setting.

Community representatives will then create a two-month advocacy plan (with a longer-term vision) on how to follow up on the meeting. A pilot scheme will provide communities with small grants to help run local consultations and facilitate further cooperation with companies.

This project runs from April 2019 to December 2019.