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Library Breaking new ground: mining, minerals, and sustainable development

Breaking new ground: mining, minerals, and sustainable development

Breaking new ground: mining, minerals, and sustainable development

Resource information

Date of publication
December 2001
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

This final report presents the findings of the two year IIED MMSD [minerals, mining and sustainable development] project sponsored by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). It outlines in detail the MMSD multistakeholder process - which included regional patnerships, national projects, global workshops and a range of commissioned research, presentations and bulletins - before presenting a detailed analysis of the sector through the many stages of minerals and metals exploration, production, use, reuse, recycling, and final disposal. The project uses sustainable development theory as a framework to present priorities for the future development of the sector.Initially the report outlines and discusses key challenges for the sector under the following headings:Viability of the Minerals IndustryThe Control, Use, and Management of LandMinerals and Economic DevelopmentLocal Communities and MinesMining, Minerals, and the EnvironmentAn Integrated Approach to Using MineralsAccess to InformationArtisanal and Small-Scale MiningSector Governance: Roles, Responsibilities, and Instruments for ChangeThe authors then move on to discuss an 'agenda for change' which the sector might follow in order to address expectations which include:countries, especially emerging economies, expect that minerals development will be an engine of sustained national economic growth;local communities expect that the industry will provide employment, infrastructure and other benefits that match the risks and impacts they experience, all within a framework that will leave people better off when the project is over than when it started;the industry’s own employees expect safer and healthier working conditions, a better community life, and some kind of security and consideration if and when their employment ends;local citizens and human rights campaigners expect companies to respect and support basic rights, even when they are operating where government does not;environmental organisations expect a much higher standard of performance, and that the industry will stay out of ecologically and culturally sensitive areas;investors expect higher returns, and have shown dissatisfaction with the industry’s financial results;consumers expect safe products that will not degrade the environment, and that were not produced in substandard conditions.Specific actions which the report calls for include:An Industry Protocol for Sustainable DevelopmentA Commitment to Address the Negative Legacy of the PastSupporting Legalisation of Artisanal and Small-scale MiningIntegrated Management of the Full Mineral ChainMore Effective Government Management of Mineral InvestmentA More Equitable International Trade Regime for Minerals

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