NAIROBI, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) is conducting a public campaign for sustainable mining in the 55 member states, an official of the bloc said Tuesday.
Frank Mughenyi, senior industrial advisor at the Office of the Commissioner for Trade and Industry of the AU Commission, said the campaign is being carried out in cooperation with the AU member states to help facilitate operations in Africa's mining industry.
"We want to educate communities where mining takes place on sustainable exploitation of the minerals to enable them to benefit from it economically," Mughenyi said on the sidelines of the ongoing 4th edition of the United Nations Environment Assembly here.
Mughenyi said the AU is looking into possibilities of promoting innovative solutions of transforming environmental challenges into opportunities.
Conflicts between mining companies and local communities often occur in Africa when employers fail to communicate well with locals, in particular on whose land they are mining, he said.
At the same time, the AU official noted that although Africa's mineral wealth contributes to the economic and social development on the continent, the mining activities have led to severe environmental degradation.
"The yet to be accomplished African framework is expected to enhance regional cooperation in sustainable development by providing a classification framework for management of all energy and mineral resources in land and oceans," he said.