We have a structured, two-tier approach to community engagement: consultation and community investment programmes.
Our consultation approach: building community understanding
All of our businesses are implementing local community engagement and impact assessment programmes. Through effective consultation we engage in dialogue with the communities surrounding our mines, facilities and proposed projects. We collaborate closely to optimise our community investment programmes to ensure these respond to the needs of the community and are an integral part of the broader engagement we undertake at the local level. More details of our community investment activities are available in our Sustainable Development report.
To provide a structured, consistent approach across all our subsidiary businesses, we have a suite of technical standards. These include land and resettlement management, grievance mechanisms and stakeholder engagement and community consultation standards. These standards are used in conjunction with our Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process.
The nature of our operations means resettlement may occur in order for resources to be accessed in a responsible and safe way. We make every effort to avoid the resettlement of community members where possible and, where it is unavoidable, to minimise and mitigate the impacts.
Our Group technical standard on land resettlement management provides our businesses with the tools to manage resettlement programmes in a structured and appropriate way. All Vedanta operations are required to manage land purchase through negotiated settlement, and land expropriation through government agencies is not considered acceptable.
As resettlement can be a time of uncertainty for communities, we use an extensive programme of engagement with both affected communities and individuals. Through the community consultation process, we make every effort to gain the consent of local communities and then focus on providing displaced people with the means to improve and enhance their former living standards and earning capacity through various sustainability interventions.
We aim to provide long-term rehabilitation assistance and support to help restore and build livelihoods. With any of our resettlement programmes, we are committed to ensuring that housing and access to infrastructure and amenities will be of an improved standard, better than before. Equally, these should be culturally appropriate and in suitable locations. We have a standard for implementing grievance mechanisms to ensure that, if relocations do occur, complaints and grievances are heard, investigated and resolved in a timely manner.