Seminar Series

CIRDI Seminar Series

Organized in partnership with UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issues, the CIRDI Seminar Series brings together students, faculty and practitioners to disseminate research and foster discussions about pressing policy issues, both domestic and global. Focus areas include water stewardship and governance, natural resources governance and sustainable development, environmental rehabilitation and prevention of community conflicts.


Fall 2017 Season

The Rise of Conflict with Mining Operations: What Lies Beneath?

Wednesday November 22, 2017
12:30-2 pm
Caseroom – Liu Institute of Global Issues, UBC

The dramatic rise in conflicts associated with mining operations over the past 15 years has coincided with a worldwide increase in mining activities, with major consequences for local communities, companies, and host countries. Tony Andrews, principal, Centre for Responsible Mineral Development, and Ian Thomson, principal, Shinglespit Consultants Inc., will present some of the key findings of a two-year study focusing on community-level mining conflicts.

Learn more.

Mining and Climate Change: Why Should We Care?

Monday November 20, 2017
12:30-2 pm
SFU Harbour Centre – 2245 McCarthy Tetrault Lecture Room, 515 West Hastings Street,  Vancouver

John Drexhage, federal advisor Clean Energy Canada, will speak to the critical issue of why climate change matters to the mining and metals industry, including:

  • The risks it poses for the industry and its installations
  • The tools and expertise the industry has in place to adapt to those risks
  • The challenges and approaches the industry faces in GHG regulatory and pricing policy
  • Implications of a global zero/low carbon future for future mineral, ore and metal demand

Learn more.

Miners, Minerals and Minamata: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on ASGM and Sustainable Development

Thursday October 26, 2017
12:30-1:45 pm
Caseroom – Liu Institute of Global Issues, UBC

CIRDI’s director of program development will discuss the scope and impact of artisanal and small-scale gold mining globally and the importance of  developing best practices to minimize adverse social and environmental impacts. Despite recent progress, complex challenges remain for scientists, practitioners, policy makers and for the bi-lateral and multi-lateral cooperation that aims to support miners in the reduction and eventual elimination of mercury use in ASGM at global, regional and local scales.

Learn more.


POSTPONED TO A LATER DATE – Evidence of Transboundary Mercury and other Pollutants in the Puyango-Tumbes River basin, Ecuador-Peru


Dr. Marshall was part of a large UNIDO study investigating heavy metal contamination of the Puyango-Tumbes River in Ecuador in relation to ASGM production in Portovelo-Zaruma, which found that pollution reaches 160 kilometres down river to the Tumbes Delta in Peru. He will share his research findings in this talk.


Can Environmental Regulation Make Extractive Industries More Innovative?

Wednesday September 27, 2017
12:30 – 1:45 pm
Case Room – Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC

John Steen, Associate Professor in Strategy at the University of Queensland Business School in Brisbane, will outline the “Porter Hypothesis” for the relationship between proactive environmental policy and industry competitiveness. Using data collected in the recent $200 billion expansion of the Australian oil and gas industry, he will provide evidence that this relationship does indeed hold but it is highly dependent on the maturity of the industry and its stage of technological development.

See John Steen’s presentation here.

Analyzing the Business Model for ASM in Southern Ecuador: Is an Equitable and Socially/environmentally Responsible Model Possible?

Thursday, September 21, 2017
12:30 – 2 pm
Case Room – Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC

Dr. Velásquez López is a professor at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, at the Technical University of Machala in Ecuador and the lead of CIRDI’s TransMAPE project, Focused on Ecuador’s Portovelo-Zaruma and Ponce Enriquez regions, he will analyze the current business model in the extraction of precious metals within ASM context in order to identify barriers to a more equitable and socially and environmentally responsible development.

Learn more.

Spring 2017 Season

The inaugural season of the CIRDI Seminar Series in spring 2017 included:

Mining Development and Environmental Rehabilitation Challenges – Mongolia’s Case

A presentation by Bolormaa Purevjav, CIRDI fellow and chair at the Centre for Stakeholder Engagement and Sustainable Development, a national NGO in Mongolia. April 13, 2017.

See Bolormaa’s presentation






Private Sector Development in Resource-rich Developing Countries

A presentation by Eric Werker, associate professor at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University (SFU), and CIRDI’s SFU academic lead. April 4, 2017.

See Eric’s presentation







Advancing Water Stewardship in Mining – From the Site to the Catchment

A presentation by Dr. Nadja Kunz, assistant professor at the Liu Institute for Global Issues and Norman B Keevil Mining Engineering at UBC. March 14, 2017.








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