Mining Forum Discusses Evolving Policies, Role of Mining in SDGs
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Speakers noted that the social contract has evolved from mines mainly focusing on paying taxes and dividends towards more complex requirements in the current era of the SDGs.

Additional issues discussed included impacts of technological change and the increase in global demand for lithium in the manufacture of batteries for smartphones and electric vehicles.

18 October 2018: The 14th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) focused on the theme of ‘Modern Mining Law and Policy: Accountable, Equitable and Innovative Approaches.’ Participants discussed their experiences in the revision of mining codes and laws, public access to geological information, gender impacts of mining, policy responses to support progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and mine inspection systems. Participants also considered the possibilities for “climate-smart” and “forest-smart” approaches to mining.

During the opening session, Scott Vaughan, President, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), noted that more than 70% of the governments around the globe have adopted or are in the process of adopting mining policies. He highlighted that the IGF is the only international platform to support government efforts in this area, and called for multi-stakeholder partnerships to achieve progress on implementation of the SDGs in relation to mining.

The social contract around mines has evolved from a focus on paying taxes, towards more complex requirements in the SDG era.

Speakers also noted that the social contract around mines has evolved from a focus mainly on their paying taxes and dividends, towards more complex requirements in the current era of the SDGs. The IISD Reporting Services summary of the event notes that speakers also highlighted: “the impacts of technological change, the increase in global demand for lithium in the manufacture of batteries for smartphones and electric vehicles, and related opportunities for governments and industry leaders to respond in creating responsible supply chains.” Other topics of discussion included the relevance of internationally-agreed voluntary instruments for contract negotiations, best practices in mine closure, benefit sharing in technological innovation, and promoting diversification through local content strategies.

Approximately 400 participants from more than 80 countries registered for the 14th AGM, which convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 16-18 October 2018, hosted by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The IGF Secretariat, which is serviced by IISD, organized the meeting. [IISD RS meeting coverage]


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