Project closure preparation aims to anticipate any negative impact the cessation of activities may have in order to mitigate them and maximise any long-term benefits.
Project closure planning includes the gradual restoration of affected areas and the preparation of local communities for the withdrawal of industrial activity, employees and their families. This requires a combined collaborative effort to improve the social and economic perspectives associated with the risk of depopulation. The aim is to reduce the area’s dependency over time on the company and to avoid the risk of an economic slump and the abandoning of social structures which have become obsolete. The re-use of the land must also be discussed in consultation with the local authorities, to facilitate its reintegration into the local land-tenure system. It is essential to have a clear understanding of migration flows and the company’s efforts in terms of employment policy when planning for closure.
The three deliverables are:
- A land and infrastructure re-use plan which should take into account local particularities in terms of land management and the quality of soil restoration following decommissioning,
- A development plan which is an extension of existing Community Development Plans and which takes into account the essential diversification of the local economy and funding sources,
- A labour demobilisation plan which takes into account both local realities and local legislation.
Closure is an integral part of a project agenda and must be prepared well in advance. Implementation of the associated Development Plan must continue after the departure of the operator and involve all stakeholders in the area. INSUCO proposes a participatory approach that benefits from strong local legitimacy.