A Social Baseline in the Extractive Industries

Extracted 31OCT2011 from http://blog.boreal-is.com/?p=573&lang=en

In Performance Standard 1, the IFC indicates that “the Social and Environmental Assessment process will be based on current information, including an accurate project description, and appropriate social and environmental baseline data. The Assessment will consider all relevant social and environmental risks and impacts of the project.”

Having a social baseline at the start of the project and using it as the basis for future monitoring and evaluation is considered international good practice. In recent years extractive industries have increasingly made the collection of social baseline data a standard procedure that has been incorporated into their operational policies.

Although initially these studies were undertaken to satisfy the requirements of different lenders and the laws of various countries mandating the inclusion of social baseline data within Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and/or Social Impact Studies, the major oil & gas and mining companies now systematically establish a social baseline before starting operations regardless of where they are working...

Industry best practice involves the systematic management of key performance indicators in relation to baseline data that has been collected, and this can be done through the use of a social Information Management System (IMS).