Environmental Monitoring for the national control institutions in Haut-Katanga
The mining sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is globally recognized for its diverse and abundant mineral resources, although the economic impact may not be readily apparent. From a human and environmental rights perspective, numerous reports have brought attention to risks and damages for residents and ecosystems in mining regions, such as river pollution. Despite substantial efforts in the copper-cobalt mining sector in Haut-Katanga and Lualaba, the Environmental Monitoring and Control (EMC) process is not yet fully effective.
EMC in the mining sector constitutes a robust system designed to systematically observe, evaluate, and regulate the direct, indirect, and induced environmental and social repercussions stemming from exploration, mining, and subsequent post-mining operations. Public administrations employ EMC as a strategic tool to proactively mitigate and minimize the adverse effects on the environment and society, ensuring sustainable and responsible mining practices. The current challenge stems from the limited technical and operational capacity of the responsible administrations. To address this gap, Projekt-Consult was contracted to develop and implement a tailored training program on EMC for the Ministry of Mines, specifically the Direction de Protection de l'Environnement Minier (DPEM), and the Ministry of Environment, represented by the Agence Congolaise de l'Environnement (ACE).
The primary objective of this training program is to actively engage environmental monitoring professionals in overseeing mining activities and to provide them with the skills to anticipate, monitor, and mitigate the environmental impact of mining activities. Through this initiative, the project aims to showcase the feasibility of environmental monitoring by institutions defined in the Mining Code, ensuring the provision of necessary resources. The project encompassed the development of a comprehensive training manual (covering four main modules: preparation, on-site inspection, data management, and communication) and the organization of theoretical and practical training, including field visits and sampling in different industrial mining companies near Lubumbashi.