Instruments for environmentally sustainable regulation of subterranean resource extraction – INSTRO

The project “Instruments for environmentally sustainable regulation of raw materials extraction – INSTRO” focused on German law and examined how mining projects and other subterranean uses can be carried out in a more environmentally friendly manner. It considered more ambitious legal requirements as well as optimised planning, approval and supervisory procedures, and how restoring usability (e.g. recultivation of the used areas on the surface) could be further improved, from an environmental perspective, and adequately secured financially. Regulations on public participation, the right of associations and affected parties to take legal action, as well as liability and the provision of security were also examined. Further focus was placed on improving consideration of resource protection and conservation in the approval and implementation of projects for the use of the subsurface as well as the non-mining extraction of raw materials, i.e. “excavation mining”. In addition, other spatial uses were also taken into account that compete with or are affected by the extraction of raw materials.

The legal analysis of the regulations and jurisprudence was empirically tested for its practical feasibility through stakeholder interviews. The project was further supported by an external advisory board. In the project concrete reform modules for strengthening environmental and resource protection in mining, excavation and spatial planning law and a concept of raw materials demand planning were developed.