I first heard the words “meeting under the mango tree” as a euphemism for having a predictable, easy to access process for enabling community members to raise issues and concerns in a safe and familiar place.  There is no fixed agenda and no one-size-fits-all for these exchanges. With one company we set up drop-in centres in each local village with a designated community officer in attendance everyday. Another made it known that a company person would be available “under the mango tree” for two hours every market day. I am hoping this blog will achieve something similar – the regular, free and open sharing of ideas and experiences. Time will tell how well it works out.

April 2020 Archives


Permaculture powered community development

Community Development |  30 April 2020

I don’t know about you, but when permaculture was suggested to me a technique for community development I had some doubts but having seen Edge5 Permaculture in action I am  now a convert. The Edge5 way uses an integrated approach to design, combining the ecological processes of land, plants, animals and climate into highly productive systems resulting in stronger and healthier communities. The approach is practical and hands-on, encourages peer-to-peer learning, starts at the backdoor with intensive kitchen gardens before building to larger scale strategies for water-harvesting, sustainable farming (crops, trees and animals) and agro-forestry...


A take on buzzword bingo

Responsible Business Management |  16 April 2020

Buzzword Bingo, where players make-up lists of buzzwords and tick them off when they hear them said during a meeting or in a speech has been around a fair while. During a recent training session multiple examples were given of the way companies describe their commitment to or relevance of CSR, sustainable development and social performance and has started me thinking it might be a bit of fun (and potentially useful in some way (not sure just how)) to make a list of “CSR buzz-phases”. 


Linking company actions to the SDGs

Responsible Business Management |  2 April 2020

Making a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

For the last few years I have been making the case that junior and mid-tier explorers and operators can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs) and just as importantly to be recognised for what they do, to the extent that shorter life-cycles, smaller physical, environmental, social and economic footprints, leaner management structure and lesser lobbying strength allow. So I’ve been digging away, looking for ideas to borrow and tweak. The ICMM was quick out of the blocks, mapping the SDGs to their Sustainable Development Principles. Another good source has been a think-tank report mapping mining to the development goals . Both have been useful but they definitely reflect the capabilities and strategies of the big-end of town. More recently IPECA has published a guide for the oil and gas industry and the US FAO has incorporated SDG considerations into their Sustainable Forest Management Toolbox.