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IGF Mining Policy Framework: Mining and Sustainable Development

Consistent with its origins as a partnership of the 2002 World Summit, the Forum reported on its activities and progress in the course of the CSD 18 meeting. As its contribution to the CSD 19 objective of developing a way forward for continuing progress, the Forum is pleased to submit the policy Framework for consideration by the CSD 19 delegates as well as other organizations and stakeholders with an interest in mining. In support of the development of this policy Framework, the Forum relied first on its extensive work program. It also conducted an extensive survey of mining in member countries. The results of this survey were further discussed in the course of the 2009 IGF Annual General Meeting. This policy Framework was finally endorsed by Forum members at the 2010 Annual General Meeting.

The members of the IGF present this Framework to the delegates at CSD 19 as a compendium of activities they have identified as best practices for exercising good governance of the mining sector and promoting the generation and equitable sharing of benefits in a manner that will contribute to sustainable development.

Forum members agree that good governance of both public and private institutions is a necessary condition for the contribution of the sector to sustainability. The key aspect of good governance for mining relates to the proper management of the mining activity itself. Sustainability however needs to go beyond the mining activity. Like any other business, a mine will close at some time. Sustainability is the outcome of transforming the assets generated in the course of mining into other forms of assets that persist beyond the mine closure and are tools for development beyond the mining sector. This process also requires good governance in the management of all the revenue streams resulting from mining investments, such as foreign capital inflows, royalties, licence fees, direct and indirect tax revenues, infrastructure investment and the like.

Forum members have made great progress over the last few years towards putting in place many of the processes outlined in this Framework. They are also aware of the need to improve the functioning of those processes. This raises the issue of capacity for good governance. The Framework is therefore also a call to the international community, particularly the UN and donor agencies, to enhance support towards capacity building that promotes the good governance of the mining/metals sector and its contribution to sustainability. Starting in the nineties, most development agencies exited support for the sector. There is a need for renewed focus on capacity building to ensure that the lessons learned in the recent past become the reference or base line of mining globally.