IRMA’s Response to Russia’s Attacks on Ukraine
IRMA is deeply concerned with the terrible conflict in Ukraine. As we have both private sector and civil society organizations working with IRMA in the region, we have spent the last week reaching out to our participants, other multi-stakeholder standards systems, and experts in auditing. We welcome feedback from any stakeholder on our course of action.
- IRMA civil society organizations focused on Russia, working for greater environmental and social responsibility in mining, are encouraged to continue to engage in IRMA.
- Private sector purchasers and investors with concern for more responsible practices may continue to ask mining companies in Russia to measure their performance against the IRMA Standard.
- For mining companies based in Russia, all effort at this time must be with the IRMA Mine Measure self-assessment tool, which can guide them on areas that may need improvements to protect social and environmental values. No external claims of IRMA achievement by companies using the tool will be allowed in the market. No mining companies in Russia have yet been independently audited against the IRMA Standard. We will not commence auditing in the region until there is greater stability and confidence that diverse stakeholders may safely engage in a robust independent audit. Additionally, a decision has been made to pause membership activities for Russian-based mining companies at this time.
We join the global community in heartache for the suffering at this time of violent conflict there and in other places around the world. We affirm IRMA’s core vision regardless of the geography: a world where the mining industry respects the human rights and aspirations of affected communities, provides safe, healthy and supportive workplaces, minimizes harm to the environment, and leaves positive legacies.
Our position is an initial response and will evolve as appropriate with global circumstances and we welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: 21 March 2022
Nornickel is a Russia-based mining company that had pending membership status in IRMA and, as a result, was preparing for independent audit. IRMA has encouraged the company to continue to use the self-assessment tool to understand IRMA requirements and to seek opportunities for improved performance, and we hope to engage in an independent audit in the future. The company has shared with IRMA the following statement:
Nornickel has agreed to pause its pending membership status in IRMA, and will continue to work independently and will continue to use the IRMA Mine Measure self-assessment tool to prepare for independent audit to improve practices that reduce environmental and social impacts. We believe that the findings from this informal exercise will make a useful guide on how we can improve towards IRMA standards, while we are held on pause.
Batani (International Indigenous Fund for development and solidarity) is a non-governmental organization and an IRMA Member. They have shared with IRMA the following statement:
Batani stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine in their struggle for freedom, and we are extremely concerned about ensuring the rights of Indigenous peoples during the war on Ukrainian territory. This war has also created security issues for indigenous peoples living in Russia. As a result, Batani appreciates the steps IRMA has taken to pause the Nornickel audit until it can be done in a manner that ensures the safe engagement of communities affected by the Nornickel operations.