The Application of Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development’s “Seven Questions of Sustainability” to a Planning Process in Alberta
Mineral aggregate, the most widely used mineral resource globally, has attracted little academic or public interest. Of all mining developments, the aggregate resource is seldom factored into resource management decisions. This lack of recognition to the strategic aggregate resource has significant economic, environmental, and social implications. Impact to the economics, the environment, and the community coincide with the key elements of the United Nations concept of “sustainable development”. To build on the concept, the mining sector contracted the International Institute for Environment and Development to assess how mining activity contributes to sustainability. As a result, a useful assessment process was developed by the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) Task Group entitled “Seven Questions to Sustainability: How to Assess the Contribution of Mining and Mineral Activities.”
In Alberta, recent opposition to mineral resource development by community residents offers an opportunity to employ the MMSD’s assessment procedure. The public opposition to the mining activity was addressed through a stakeholder planning process initiated by the municipal council of Sturgeon County, Alberta. As a result the Calahoo/Villeneuve Area Structure Plan (CASP) was formulated and adopted.
To measure the effectiveness of the CASP planning process in terms of sustainability, this paper applies the MMSD’s Seven Question assessment to the Calahoo/Villeneuve Area Structure Plan.