February 2017: Various multi-stakeholder events have explored strategies for strengthening public-private partnerships and fostering more inclusive and sustainable mining policies and practices around the world. They include regional meetings facilitated by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to review implementation of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV); the launch of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded “El Dorado” project to eliminate mercury use from small-scale artisanal gold mining in Guyana; and a German-funded project for the sustainable management of mining resources in Andean countries.

A special policy dialogue at the 2017 Mining Indaba, held on 8 February 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa, reviewed progress in implementing the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) Private Sector Compact, which was introduced at the 2016 Mining Indaba. The session highlighted the 12 principles contained in the Compact, and explored areas of consensus and “possible win-wins” for the public and private sectors. The session was hosted by the African Union Commission in partnership with the ECA’s African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC).

During a meeting to review the implementation of the AMV in the Central African region, mining development experts explored the question of how to foster broad-based development and structural transformation of African economies in light of falling commodity prices in global markets. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Economic Commission for Central Africa (ECCAS) Member States and various sub-regional institutions, civil society organizations, the African Union, and international development partners, including the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The AMV was adopted by African Union Heads of State and Government in February 2009 and aims to ensure that African countries derive a greater share of the benefits from their vast mineral wealth. While all 54 African Union member countries have adopted the AMV, there is also growing recognition that building a more inclusive and sustainable mining sector will require the support of the private sector and other key stakeholders in Africa.

Meanwhile, Guyana has launched the “El Dorado” project to eliminate mercury use from small-scale artisanal gold mining by 2025, under the framework of the 2013 Minamata Convention on Mercury. Guyana is the first of eight countries participating in the GEF-funded GOLD (Global Opportunities for Long-term Development in the Artisanal Small Gold Mining Sector) Programme to launch national implementation activities.

While Guyana has managed to retain most of its 85% rainforest cover, primarily due to a small population and low accessibility, the international demand for gold has led to the expansion of artisanal gold mining over the past decade. Implemented by Conservation International, the GOLD programme in Guyana aims to develop partnerships among government, private sector, and other partners in order to ensure the development of a responsible artisanal, small and medium scale gold mining sector.

Other countries participating in the GOLD Programme, are Burkina Faso, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Peru, Mongolia and the Philippines, with support from UN Environment, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Germany and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) have embarked on a collaborative programme aimed at strengthening the sustainable management of mining resources in the Andean region. The three-year, €4.5 million project, will be implemented in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, and will seek to strengthen the exchange of experiences and promote public-private initiatives in sustainable mining development. The programme is co-managed by the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and ECLAC, and builds on an earlier sustainable mining programme that concluded in September 2016.

The partnership was announced during an “exchange of verbal notes” ceremony, held at the German mission in Santiago, Chile, on 6 February 2017. ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena said the partnership would help promote “Germany’s know-how” in the region and help to influence dialogue and joint learning about policies and strategies that are of relevance to the region’s economic, social and environmental development. Germany’s Ambassador to Chile, Rolf Schulze, underscored the region’s role in international cooperation and described ECLAC as a strategic partner in that task. [ECA Press Release on AMV Private Sector Compact] [ECA Press Release on AMV Implementation in Central Africa] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Strategies for Aligning the African Mining Sector to the SDGs] [GEF Press Release on Guyana GOLD project launch] [ECLAC Press Release on German-LAC Collaboration] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on 2016 AGM of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development][IGF Guidance for Governments: Managing artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)]