For all of us against RMGC’s gold mining project in Rosia Montana, there has been a lot of good news, recently: powerful protests erupted in streets throughout Romania, an unjust law was rejected by the parliamentary commission, a British study commissioned by Romania’s ministry of culture and funded by Pro Patrimonio deemed Rosia Montana unique in the world and worthy of UNESCO protection. So what do we do with this shifting of the balance from RMGC to the opposition?
We keep the pressure on! Now, more than ever, the opposition should continue the good fight and seek a “knockout punch.” Now is the time to form meaningful partnerships with powerful and influential people in government, industry and the academic world though they may have supported the mining project. When RMGC falls, a vacuum will be left and the opposition should seek, now, to sow seeds of partnership so that the opposition has a relevant voice in the development of Rosia Montana as a model of sustainability. By acting now, we will have a voice in Rosia Montana’s future.
In North America and Europe, numerous examples abound of how unrestrained development can destroy a community’s quality of life. Imagine a developer coming to Rosia Montana intent on making a profit from the tourists and building a line of ugly, commercial hotels or a shopping center atop the ridge overlooking Rosia Valley! Make no mistake; RMGC is just the first obstacle to building a sustainable community – another obstacle will come from developers seeking monetary gain from the tourists at the expense of the historical and aesthetic significance of the area.
What can we do? Start by making friends with your enemies. Local and regional politicians, like the mayor and county officials, will not always support the gold company. Once RMGC’s boat begins to sink, the rats will jump ship. However, instead of treating them as rats, treat them, instead, as misbehaving children. Welcome them with open arms and begin to build relationships with them in order to make Rosia Montana a model community. This does not mean to ignore their past actions; it only means to bring them over to the opposition’s side with a watchful eye. Let us be forgiving, but not stupid.
Now’s the time to act. RMGC will continue to attempt any means at securing the government’s approval for the project, both legitimate and underhanded. They have done it before, and with billions at stake for their stockholders, we can expect more of the same. However, by acting now, with skill and integrity, their chances of success diminish. Let’s build friendships in the halls of Parliament and in the streets of Romania and together, build a better Rosia Montana, not only for Romanians, but for all the world.