On Wednesday the 17th of October 2018, Mining Indaba in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) hosted a meeting to discuss the increasing role of communities in shaping the development of Africa’s mining sector.
The meeting took place in Geneva, Switzerland at the IGF’s Annual General Meeting that brings together industry and government leaders to address some of the most pressing environmental, economic and social issues arising as a result of extractive activities.
The Directors of Mining Indaba and IGF facilitated the meeting and brought together representatives from the Alternative Mining Indaba, International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), UNECA’s African Minerals Development Centre and the South African Department of Mineral Resources to discuss the Communique that was released by the Alternative Mining Indaba and signed by all parties listed above at the 2018 Mining Indaba event.
Each organisation elaborated on the key measures and initiatives that have been introduced over the past year to help mining companies and the public sector harmonise their practices in line with international sustainability standards and make a greater contribution towards the sustainable economic development of the African continent. It has been made evident that some of the key community concerns highlighted in the 2018 Communique have been incorporated into the long-term initiatives adopted by each organisation.
The ICMM is working on a number of wide-ranging community support programmes to strengthen the relationship between companies and communities including updating guidance on effective grievance mechanisms, and on integrating social transition considerations into mine closure planning. The organisation also published research showing that most Mining-Dependent Countries have improved their performance significantly across various socio-economic indicators since 1995.
UNECA’s Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources Management Division (CEND) has been engaging in developing Country Mining Vision for African countries that help national and local governments as well as communities to optimize benefits in the mining sector and to ensure sustainable environmental, social and economic development.
The South African Department of Mineral Resources have been working towards ensuring that an adequate share of mineral revenues is used to invest in improving the welfare of local communities and addressing some of the adverse impacts of mining. An official representative of Alternative Mining Indaba, working for Zimbabwean Law Association, has also stressed the importance of inclusion and gender diversity to be enhanced in the mining sector. This is very much aligned with the overall theme of the 2019 Mining Indaba that is dedicated to promoting gender diversity and “Championing Africa’s Sustainable economic growth”.
Continuing on from the IGF’s Annual General Meeting the organisations will meet again at the Mining Indaba Sustainable Development Day that will form an integral part of the 2019 Investing in African Mining Indaba event taking place in Cape Town, South Africa between the 4th and 7th of February 2019.
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