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1 April 2022

Mining, Environmental Issues, and Social Operating License in Kyrgyzstan

Rahat Sabyrbekov and Indra Øverland

IPPA Working Paper №68, 2022.

As the number of conflicts between local communities and extractive companies in Kyrgyzstan are growing at a rapid pace, environmental risks are seen as one of the main reasons for the protests. Despite efforts made by the government to develop a positive perception of mining, there is evidence of a lack of Social Operating License (SPL).

The paper argues that concerns raised by local communities are justified as the current government is not properly regulating the environmental protection initiatives. To operate a sustainable mining industry, the paper recommends the development of SPL.