Environmental Advice to the Minister of Mines

Summary of This Third Progress Report

The extractives industry in Afghanistan – including both mining and the exploitation of hydrocarbons is believed by many to be a key to future national economic growth, and environmental/social protection will be an important objective as the industry expands.  This document represents the  third Progress Report from the Environmental Advisor to the Minister of Mines (MOM) under the Sustainable Development of Natural Resources Project II (SDNRP II) financed by the World Bank. The contract of relevance is one year in duration, with 220 days of input during that period.  Dr. David Phillips (resident in Namibia and attached to Adam Smith International Limited) was selected as the Environmental Advisor.  This Progress Report has been released at the end of the third month  of input of the Environmental Advisor, at 31 October 2012, as required by the Terms of Reference for the work (see Appendix 1).

The Environmental Advisor held a range of additional meetings during October 2012 with parties of relevance  to  environmental  issues  pertaining  to  the  extractives industries  in  Afghanistan  (see  Appendix 2).  These continue to be of great benefit in focusing the input to be provided under the contract, and every effort is being made to plug existing gaps, whilst aligning the in-country activities to international best practice.

For brevity and  ease  of reference,  it has  been  agreed  that  the  Environmental  Advisor shall be  referred  to as the MOM-EA.  The Terms of Reference covering the input of the MOM-EA contain a total of 12 individual tasks.  Progress against each of these is described in the text of the present report, which updates its predecessor dating from 30 September 2012.  Further significant progress has been made on several of the tasks in the Terms of Reference – most notably, those involving the review of the existing legislation; interface to the NEPA; contracts for the extractives industry; and training initiatives involving the NEPA.  Certain additional tasks which were not included in the original Terms of Reference continue to be addressed, the most important of these involving the consideration of fresh water availability in the extractives sector in Afghanistan.   Progress during October 2012 has closely matched  the  predictions  cited  in the  Progress Report  of 30 September 2012,  although the  legislative  review  has  taken  longer  than  anticipated due  to  its  unusual complexity, and some delays have occurred due to the late submission of other documents intended for review by the MOM-EA.

Brief comments are also provided on project counterparts. Tasks that will be a focus of the following two months of the input (November and December 2012) are defined, as is an updated work plan for that period.  An update is provided on days allocated to the project, to date.

Comments on this Progress Report are invited, and these should be sent by E-mail to Dr. Phillips at <dphillips@iway.na>.

Read details on the fallowing pages:

Progress Report 3 Progress Report 4 Progress Report 5 Progress Report 6
Progress Report 7 Progress Report 8 Progress Report 9 Progress Report 10
Progress Report 11 Progress Report 12 Progress Report 13 Progress Report 14
Progress Report 15 Progress Report 16 Progress Report 17