IGF Guidance for Governments: Environmental Management and Mining Governance

The key issues, benchmarks, and standards in four main areas of environmental management in mining

The responsible management of natural resources and ecosystems is central to the efforts of any society seeking to become more sustainable.

Mineable deposits appear in locations both convenient and inconvenient. They can be close to or distant from human settlements and water sources; they can be surrounded by arable lands, breeding grounds, migration corridors, and ecologically sensitive areas; and they can be in remote areas prone to fierce storms, unstable hillsides, and seismic activity. Mining these deposits will always impact the environment and communities to a greater or lesser extent. The active and sustainable management of ecosystems and natural resources before, during, and after mining will help avoid negative impacts where possible (which may mean excluding mining in certain cases) and can minimize them elsewhere, remediate as necessary, and improve when feasible. Conversely, a failure to effectively manage the impacts of mining can not only threaten the continued viability of operations but can also undermine the relationships between a mining company, affected communities, and all levels of government.

This guidance document is designed to help Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) member states implement the IGF Mining Policy Framework (MPF).

The full document can be found here.