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“We Want What the Ok Tedi Women Have!” – Community Mining Agreements in Papua New Guinea

By: Georgia Harley, Nicholas Menzies

In many developing countries, including Papua New Guinea (PNG), land and natural resources are citizens’ key assets. Women’s agency over these assets—that is, their ability to make choices and transform those choices into actions and outcomes (or more simply, the ability to define goals and act on them)—is commonly weak. This is especially so when the resources are accessed for capital-intensive development.

Revised compensation agreements at the Ok Tedi mine, called Community Mine Continuation Agreements (CMCAs), concluded in 2007 are an encouraging innovation. In these revised CMCAs, women had a seat at the negotiating table and secured an agreement giving them 10 percent of all compensation, 50 percent of all scholarships, cash payments into family bank accounts (to which many women are cosignatories), and mandated seats on the governing bodies implementing the agreement (including future reviews of the agreement). The PNG Government is currently considering changes to policy and law to apply the basic tenets of the CMCAs to mining contexts across the country.

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Uploaded on: Jun 19, 2017
Last Updated: Jun 20, 2017
Year Published: 2013
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