IGF on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development Focuses on SDGs
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The IGF serves as a global venue for dialogue among 56 member country governments, mining companies and industry associations.

The IGF's work is largely framed by its flagship policy guidance and assessment tool, the Mining Policy Framework (MPF).

Participants heard analysis of the synergies between the SDGs and the MPF as well as gaps for tightening their integration.

28 October 2016: The 12th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) focused on the theme, ‘The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Mining.’ Among other agenda items, participants from IGF member and observer governments, the private sector and civil society heard an analysis of synergies and gaps between the SDGs and the Mining Policy Framework (MPF), the flagship policy guidance and assessment tool of the IGF.

The IGF serves as a global venue for dialogue among 56 member country governments, mining companies and industry associations. The Governments of Canada and South Africa were instrumental in the establishment of the IGF, which was announced in February 2005 as a voluntary initiative for national governments interested in promoting good governance in the management of mineral resources.

The 12th AGM and four associated workshops took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 24-28 October 2016. Topics at the three-day AGM included: MPF assessments; linkages between mining and climate change, gender, human rights, water and employment issues; and transparency and open data. In addition, the IGF Guidance for Governments on managing Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) was presented. A final Communiqué was developed at the conclusion of AGM 12, summarizing key elements of the meeting’s proceedings.

Strengths of the MPF framework include the importance of clear legal land-tenure arrangements to avoid potential conflicts with local communities.

The MPF is a framework for achieving the SDGs, specific to the mining sector. It seeks to ensure integrated social, economic and environmental assessments, that are conditional for permitting mining licenses. According to the summary of synergies between the SDGs and the MPF as well as gaps for tightening their integration, strengths of the MPF framework include the role of ASM in alleviating poverty, and the importance of setting clear legal land-tenure arrangements to avoid potential conflicts with local communities.

On gaps, participants heard that there is a need for: greater emphasis on gender equality in the MPF, particularly in relation to socioeconomic benefit optimization; a stronger focus on sound revenue management for the provision of public goods and services; better incorporation of mining infrastructure that serves multiple purposes for development as opposed to serving mining operations alone; enhanced integration of climate change mitigation and water and energy-use efficiency in the MPF in transitioning mining operations away from fossil-fuel dependency; and more explicit integration with existing environmental and social standards.

Government representatives also gathered for intergovernmental workshops on regional priorities and best practices, followed by a discussion about IGF services and the IGF Task Force on Strategy, and workshops on SDG implementation challenges and opportunities related to the mining sector, and the relationship between the SDGs and the MPF. [IISD RS Meeting Coverage] [IGF Meeting Website]


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