New report shows how mining can contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Jul 19, 2016

Large-scale mining has the potential to play a critical role in helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in resource-rich countries, according to a new report released today on the occasion of the UN High-Level Political Forum  in New York. The report, Mapping Mining to the Sustainable Development Goals: An Atlas is a joint effort of the United Nations Development Programme, the World Economic Forum, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

It is expected that the new report ‘Mapping Mining to the Sustainable Development Goals: An Atlas’ will help the mining industry to:

  • Map its roles, responsibilities and opportunities across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Demonstrate how the mining industry can ensure that social and economic benefits of mining are widely shared and environmental impact minimized;
  • Map the relationship between mining industry and the SDGs by using examples of good practice in the industry and existing knowledge and resources in sustainable development.

The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, endorsed by all UN member states in 2015, represent the world’s plan of action for social inclusion, environmental sustainability and economic development.  Meeting the SDGs by 2030 will require unprecedented cooperation and collaboration among governments, non-governmental organizations, development partners, the private sector and communities. It will require all sectors and stakeholders to incorporate the SDGs into their own practices and operations.

"Congratulations to the United Nations Development Programme, World Economic Forum, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, and Sustainable Development Solutions Network on this invaluable report,” wrote Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. “The mining industry has an enormous role to play in sustainable development, and this report will help the industry to map its roles, responsibilities, and opportunities across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  Not only is this a key tool for the mining industry; it is a model for other sectors of the economy as they search for ways to align their activities with the SDGs."

UNDP Director for Sustainable Development Nik Sekhran stated, ‘Implementing the SDGs requires the full engagement of the private sector alongside all other societal actors. This pioneering Atlas demonstrates how the mining industry can take practical action to ensure social and economic benefits of mining are widely shared and environmental impacts are minimized. We hope the report will stimulate wide dialogue and cooperation among stakeholders to make mining a driver of sustainable development. UNDP stands ready to support in this pursuit.’

The new report maps the relationship between mining and the SDGs by using examples of good practice in the industry and existing knowledge and resources in sustainable development that if replicated or scaled up could make useful contributions to the SDGs. Mining companies, their staff, management and boards are the primary audience for the Atlas. The Atlas is also intended to advance the conversation about how mining companies, can work collaboratively with governments, communities, civil society and other partners to contribute to achieve the SDGs.

'The Atlas' has a chapter for each of the SDGs focusing on the contribution the mining industry can make to that goal, through its business operations, as well as, identifying opportunities for how mining companies can collaborate with other stakeholders to draw on building innovative, systematic and sustained collaborative efforts.

Some overall conclusions that can stimulate action as well as further debate and research include:

  • The mining industry has the potential to positively contribute to all 17 SDGs;
  • While the mining industry is diverse, the scope and nature of typical mining activities can have a particularly significant impact on some SDGs;
  • The mining industry must ramp up its engagement, partnership and dialogue with other industry sectors, government, civil society and local communities to address the challenges of the SDGs.

To access the report, please visit: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/IP/2016/IU/Mapping_Mining_SDGs_An_Atlas.pdf

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Contact information

UNDP New York (media queries) : Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist, UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, sangita.khadka@undp.org   Tel: + 1 212 906 5043

UNDP New York: Casper Sonesson, Policy Advisor, Extractive Industries, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, casper.sonesson@undp.org

World Economic Forum : Gillian Davidson, Head, Mining & Metals Industries, E-mail: gillian.davidson@weforum.org

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CSI): Lisa Sachs, Director, Lisa.sachs@law.columbia.edu

Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SSDN) : Lauren Barredo, Manager, lauren.barredo@unsdsn.org

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