Alexandra Masaitis

Research Assistant, Co - Investigator on a “Good Neighbour Agreement” project for the Newmont Mining Corporation, Nevada, USA., University of Nevada, USA

Alexandra Masaitis graduated with a M.Sc. degree in Geography from St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia in 2005. During 2005-2007, she worked as an Environmental Protection Specialist at the Merchant Marine Fleet Maintenance and-Supply Base in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2009, she received her second M.Sc. degree in International Regulations in the field of Environmental Protection from the Department of International Relations of St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia. During 2009-2010, she completed full-time clean energy internship position with the Montgomery County Environmental Protection Department, Maryland, USA. Currently Alexandra works to complete her Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Health with focus on environmental toxicology at the University of Nevada, Reno, USA and works as a Co- Investigator on a “Good Neighbor Agreement” project for the Newmont Mining Corporation, Nevada, USA. Alexandra gave a number of panel presentations at the American Geophysical Union Conference and the European Geophysical Union General Assembly; she is an author of a number of publications and a recipient of awards from NSF, AGU, EGU, and the Ford Fellowship Program. She speaks Russian, English, and Spanish.

Reduction of Conflicts in Mining Development Using “Good Neighbour Agreements”

Conflicts between mining companies and communities are now prevalent in many countries of the world, both developed and developing. These conflicts have often resulted in delays of mine project development as well as adverse effects to the communities. Reduction of those conflicts has been shown to be best accomplished by good communication, transparency and a willingness to each of the parties to both understand the positions of other participants, but also a willingness to compromise. One of the types of agreements that have shown success is termed a “Good Neighbor Agreement”, or GNA. In this case, an agreement is negotiated where good communication and frequent meetings are required, and the resulting agreement has sufficient penalties that if any of the signatories to the agreement fail to abide by that agreement, those penalties will be imposed. This process is often complicated, but ultimately has the potential to reduce threats of appeals or legal action, but at the same time may require elimination of certain practices. It also requires a commitment to see this process through to the reclamation phase and long term stabilization of the environment and the economies of the affected communities.




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