ERMINA

Project title:

Environmental risks in mining areas - connecting expert assessments and social representations for a more efficient risk communication

General description:

The overall objective of the project is to describe and explain the expert – lay gap in assessing environmental risks in the mining areas in order to understand the local risk culture and contribute to the building of a risk communication plan for the affected communities.

Duration of the project:

  • 2018-2020.

Funding:

UEFISCDI - Research projects to stimulate young independent teams

Expected Results:

The project will provide a better scientific understanding of the environmental risks associated with mining activities by assessing the expert-lay gap. Future research can build on this approach in other communities in areas polluted by mining, so it can generate accurate images on the risks and their social representation within the mining communities.
Starting from a complex knowledge of the territorial and socio-economic situation, of the local environment, trends and development dynamics, but also of the opportunities and limiting factors (particularly based on the thorough analysis of risks, vulnerability and social aspects), a risk communication plan can be outlined, which represents a tangible asset both for the decision-makers and possible investors, and for academia. Understanding environmental risk in the mining areas, without decontextualizing and de-socializing it, represents a useful tool in the support of local and regional authorities involved in the risk management and decision-making process.
The benefits of the project in the social environment consist in the development of an efficient risk communication plan and identification of capacity building requirements, based on advanced knowledge in terms of local environmental risks and the needs of the communities. This plan will also lead to a more efficient risk communication, which is one of the main stages in the risk management process, hence contributing to an optimized risk management process. Last but not least, the project represents an added value to the Romanian research potential through advanced research and knowledge transfer between researchers and mining communities and sets the basis for further projects and collaborations with national and international scientists, regulatory bodies, industrial companies and the interested public. The project will contribute to the worldwide dissemination of research outcomes, especially because the topics addressed - environmental risks and their social representation - are major topics of interest, with implications at all levels of society.