Bernarda Elizalde

Bernarda is co-founder and Principal of RMD (Responsible Mineral Development Inc.). She is recognized for her on-the-ground work and experience with mining companies, consultant groups and not-for-profit organizations in the development of natural resources in Latin American Countries and Canada, and for her engagement with governmental agencies, civil society organizations and academia on key CSR issues. She has been a speaker in numerous national and international seminars and conferences in topics related to CSR. She is a biologist with a BSc from the Pontificia Universidad Cat?lica in Ecuador and an MSc in Environmental Sciences from the University of Wageningen in The Netherlands.

During the initial stage of her career Bernarda focused her work in the environmental field where she collaborated in the development of environmental impact assessments related to mining projects, socio-economic evaluations of environmental functions, recovery of wild genetic resources, and ecosystem restoration as well as the promotion of responsible attitudes towards the environment for workers and local people.

Subsequently, her career specialization evolved, in parallel with public priorities and the challenges faced by businesses and industry, from a focus on environmental issues to include social issues. For more than 10 years she worked as an independent consultant working with mining industry clients at both the corporate and operational levels in the following areas;

  • Employing indicators and established audit protocols in various projects that involved the strategic thinking, planning, and implementation of CSR policies and management systems development, performance review, monitoring and evaluation;
  • Development and implementation of a conflict assessment and management tool in partnership with World Vision, Collaborative Learning (CDA) and PDAC.
  • Capacity building, training, coaching and mentoring on CSR;
  • Engagement with governmental agencies, civil society organizations and academia on key CSR issues;
  • Social assessments including community diagnostics, due diligence; social management and planning engagement strategies to help companies comply with social performance in conformity with international standards;
  • Conflict analysis and management, risk analysis and stakeholder assessments for low risk engagement strategies.

Bernarda collaborated in the creation and implementation of AMAC (Asociaci?n de Monitoreo Ambiental Comunitario), in San Miguel Ixtahuacan, Guatemala, a community-based monitoring committee, which was a recipient of an award from OLAMI, The Latin American Mining Organization.

Upon assuming the position of Program Director of Sustainable Development at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada?s (PDAC) in 2008, Bernarda focused her attention on expanding and improving the organization?s influence in CSR with the industry, governments and special interest groups, across Canada and into the international arena. Her responsibilities included the development and management of e3 Plus: A Framework for Responsible Exploration, the first CSR guidance of its kind for the exploration industry and currently applied worldwide in more than 75 countries. As part of her contributions to the PDAC, she also initiated the successful ?CSR Event Series? at the PDAC?s convention, creating a unique space for the industry and other interested stakeholders to discuss CSR matters.

Most recently, as principal of RMD, Bernarda devotes her time assisting exploration and mining companies to strengthen their CSR programs and encourage high standards of business behaviour based on ethical values, at both the strategic level and at the sites of operations. Relevant recent assignments include a project undertaken in partnership with On Common Ground Inc to audit a consultation process at Cerrejon, one of Colombia?s biggest mining companies; and a project implemented in Peru in association with World Vision Canada through a partnership with CIDA and Barrick to create capacity building in local governments.