Current and Recent Activities
Over the last two years I have moved to take up long term advisory and support roles with a small number of clients to whom I can provide advice based on in-depth knowledge of the client organisation combined with providing a valuable ‘inside and outside’ perspective.
- Advising a European development bank on human rights policy and practice.
- Leading a team of scientists and anthropologists on a one-year programme to identify and assess gaps in impact assessment and compensation in order to remedy complaints about a large mining project in Mongolia.
- Due diligence on human rights in relation to a prospective investment in Myanmar by a bilateral development bank.
- Regular monitoring and advice on social and environmental management for an industrial plant and quarry in Zambia throughout the construction and commissioning phases.
- Senior environmental, social and governance advisor for an impact investment fund. This involves building the ESG management system and team as well as due diligence, monitoring and reporting on investments in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
- Resettlement advisor to the developers of a hydro-electric project in Africa. Supporting the project developer understand, minimise, plan for and eventually implement physical and economic resettlement associated with a much needed base load hydro project in a post-conflict country held back by lack of electricity.
The lenders to a large mine received complaints about impacts of the mine on the livelihoods of local people who gain their living from herding camels, sheep and goats. As part of the dispute resolution process a committee was set up representing the mine, the herders and the local administration. I was commissioned (though an open tender) to lead a team of independent experts to undertake a detailed assessment of pasture and water resources in the area, the trends in herding systems and livelihoods, and the compliance of the impact assessment and resettlement/compensation processes with international standards, and then present findings and recommendations for remedy. I was able to tap into expert academics from Oxford University and their links with the Mongolian Academy of Science to provide a high calibre team acceptable to all parties.
Investing in Myanmar
Lenders were looking at an investment in Myanmar into a company that is part of a larger conglomerate. The project being investigated had few significant adverse social and environmental impacts. The chanllenge was to understand what risks the wider business carried given well-documented concerns about human rights abuses in sectors of Myanmar’s economy, and if these risks could be effectively mitigated. The work involved extensive desk research and a visit to Myanmar for in-depth meetings with the company and the conglomerate, visits to ‘at risk’ sites, and consultations with a range of locally based experts, NGOs and investors.