The United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) is hosting a two-day workshop on the report of the International Resource Panel “Mineral Resource Governance for Sustainable Development” from 26th – 27th September, 2016 in Accra, Ghana.
The workshop, which is being organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Secretariat of the International Resource Panel (IRP) and the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), aims to discuss an annotated outline and specific content of the Mineral Resource Governance report, allocate responsibilities and drafting roles, and finalise the timelines for developing and publishing the report.
The topic of governance of resources, focusing on mineral development and improved environmental and social outcomes and contribution to poverty eradication, was identified as a future priority area of research for the IRP. At the 18th Meeting of the IRP held in June 2016, a Study Proposal for a report provisionally titled “Mineral Resource Governance in the 21st Century: Gearing extractive industries towards sustainable development” was approved. The report will be developed over two years, from September 2016 to September 2018.
The study is being formulated as an attempt to improve the understanding of how the extractive sector can aid the transition towards sustainable development, the governance architecture that will facilitate the transition, and the incentives package that will make it a reality. It will examine how mining activities should be regulated and extractive rents used to improve economic and human development, at the same time as safeguarding the availability of resources and protecting the natural environment for current and future generations. In doing so, it will adopt a systemic integrated approach that attempts to account for complex interlinkages and trade-offs between different natural resources, economic sectors, eco-systems, and development priorities and outcomes.
The main objectives of the report are to:
(i) review and create an inventory of existing and emerging governance initiatives, instruments and practices in the extractive industry;
(ii) propose a new governance framework, termed a “sustainable development license to operate”, which would build on the review of the existing governance architecture, to recommend a global compact or set of international standards and best practices for governments to set and mining companies to abide to;
(iii) explore the policy space and interest for governance initiatives and instruments in the mining sector which can help countries to meet their SDGs; and
(iv) identify policy options for increased operationalisation, uptake, acceptance and impact of the proposed instruments and standards.
The working group that will develop the report is co-led by four scientific experts of the International Resource Panel, including Antonio Pedro (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa – UNECA), Elias T. Ayuk (United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa – UNU-INRA), Paul Ekins (University College London – UCL) and Bruno Oberle (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – EPFL). Other Panel members, IRP Steering Committee members, and experts from international organisations, academic/research institutions and industry will also contribute to the IRP report.
Preliminary findings of the report will be presented in the context of the third session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) in December 2017.