Council members of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) met in a closed session on Thursday morning, on the final day of the IGF’s 14th Annual General Meeting (AGM). During the day, delegates engaged in sessions on environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA), community engagement, new technologies, UN tools for sustainable mining policies, and tax policies.
Participants debated whether current technology investments by companies would result in greater profitability for businesses, and if so, how governments and local communities can benefit. They affirmed that ESIA can be a mechanism for healthy strategic development of an enterprise, rather than an obstacle.
At lunchtime, the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the UN Environment Global Mercury Partnership presented a handbook for countries developing national action plans for the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector, and the Inter-American Development Bank discussed fostering dialogue among stakeholders in extractive sector investments in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
At the close of the AGM, Alexander Medina, IGF Chair, expressed appreciation for the excellent presentations and enriching discussions that had provided members with comprehensive material to take back to their respective governments.
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), congratulated the IGF for tackling complex and sensitive topics. She urged participants to develop advanced solutions to the challenges posed by automation and the impacts of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM).
Nathalie Bernasconi, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), thanked all participants and expressed gratitude to UNCTAD for hosting the meeting, and Medina gaveled the AGM to a close at 5:16 pm.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily digital coverage and daily reports from the 2018 AGM. In addition, IISD Reporting Services, has published a summary report from the meeting.
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+ Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 18 October 2018
On Wednesday, delegates to the 14th AGM of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) continued their deliberations in a plenary session on ‘climate-smart mining’, and in six parallel sessions over the rest of the day on ‘forest-smart mining’, voluntary instruments, mine closure, innovation, responsible supply chains, and local content strategies.
Delegates raised concerns about diverse issues, including on land and catchment restoration at abandoned and orphan mines, opportunities to develop the quality of local manufacturing and services for mining and non-mining sectors, and the influence of technology change on employment of mine workers. They took note of the great increase in demand for certain metals and minerals used in electric vehicles, and considered the role of government in developing laws and policies to mitigate the carbon and material footprint of the mining industry. They exchanged views on the best ways to create an enabling environment for investment, and the possibilities for achieving a circular economy in the mining sector. They also discussed recent initiatives by mining companies to contribute to reforestation and biodiversity protection.
At lunchtime, delegates took part in an interactive session about using digital resources for the governance of the extractives sector, and heard a presentation on ‘How can Africa get the most value from its diamonds?’ by Vanessa Ushie, African Development Bank.
The AGM’s second day concluded with informal discussions in the hallways, as IGF participants continued to reflect on the experiences and initiatives presented for responsible and sustainable mining.
+ Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary-General, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), drew attention to the growing demand for lithium in smartphone batteries. She urged delegates to consider the social and environmental impacts of lithium production, and the governance implications for its regulation.
Scott Vaughan, President, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), noted that over 70% of the governments around the globe have adopted or are in the process of adopting mining policies, and highlighted that IGF is the only international platform to support government efforts in this area.
The IGF Secretariat reported that 14 countries have joined IGF over the past two years, and five new members have undertaken Mining Policy Framework (MPF) assessments in their countries, bringing the current total of completed MPF assessments to 11.
Delegates met in plenary in the morning, and in four separate sessions in the afternoon on mining law, gender issues, geological information, and mine inspection systems. Speakers presented country experiences, and considered options for further improvement of mining policy and practice.
Presentations took place over lunchtime. Ruth Thomas, Global Agribusiness Alliance, put forward a case for collaboration between the agriculture and mining sectors, and the IGF Secretariat and IISD presented a report on standards and the extractive economy.
At the end of the day, delegates attended a reception hosted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Swedish EPA).
+ Visit the web coverage for Tuesday, 16 October 2018
Delegates to the 14th Annual General Meeting of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) convened in Geneva, Switzerland, for a one-day pre-meeting workshop and training event. IGF Chair Alexander Medina Herasme, Director General of Mining, Dominican Republic, opened the workshop, and Greg Radford, Director, IGF Secretariat provided an update on the Secretariat’s work, noting progress made on engagement and outreach, the Mining Policy Framework (MPF) assessment methodology, and capacity building and technical support. Matthew Bliss, Deputy Director, IGF Secretariat, highlighted the success of the Secretariat’s work within the regions and with regional organizations.
Staff of the IGF Secretariat and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) briefed delegates on improvements to the MPF assessment methodology, and the recently-completed policy guidance on local content. They invited feedback on the draft guidance document on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA).
Workshop participants from several developing countries expressed interest in how the MPF assessment methodology could help them to better explore their mining resources, attract stable investment, and add value for local communities. On ESIA, they welcomed assessments that integrate economic, social and environmental concerns. Other issues raised included the need for periodic reporting over the course of long-term mining projects, establishing multi-stakeholder monitoring mechanisms, and possible compensation of local communities affected by mining.
At the end of the day, delegates took part in a facilitated discussion of regional priorities, and posed for a group photo.
+ Visit the web coverage for Monday, 15 October 2018