Many countries have financed their development through resource extraction and in recent years many new countries have discovered and started to extract their mineral resources. While natural resource wealth provides significant opportunities for economic and social development, it also brings some risks. These include volatile economic growth; limited job creation; violent conflicts; corruption; environmental degradation; gender based violence; and the spread of HIV and AIDS among communities impacted by extraction activities. Such negative outcomes of resource extraction, however, are not inevitable. They can be tackled through effective strategies, legal frameworks and policies.
Recognizing the far-reaching impacts and opportunities of extractive activities, UNDP’s Strategy for Supporting Sustainable and Equitable Management of the Extractive Industries adopts a broad approach to the governance of extractive industries. UNDP supports countries to strengthen their legal and institutional frameworks to negotiate and enforce contracts in transparent and accountable ways; and to ensure that exploration and extraction operations are environmentally and socially sustainable. We also support countries to put resource revenues to good use, by investing in economic diversification, as well as in human, social, physical and financial capital.
UNDP works to enhance the participation of civil society, women’s organisations, indigenous peoples and other affected groups in the decision-making processes to ensure effective governance of the extractive sector.
UNDP is making efforts to engage the private sector to put in place environmental and social safeguards; achieve local content regulations and integrate their corporate social responsibility objectives with countries’ national development plans.
UNDP supports over 40 countries in governing their extractive industries for sustainable development. In Liberia for example, UNDP is implementing an integrated project to advance how the extractive sector contributes to sustainable development by: strengthening the legal framework, policies and institutional capacities that govern the sector; enhancing the voice and participation of civil society, women and communities in dialogue and decisions regarding the extractive industry; improving transparency in the management of revenues from the industry; enhancing linkages between multinational mining and oil & gas companies and domestic small enterprises to enhance job opportunities and economic development; and strengthening capacities of the artisanal, small scale and low-value mining sector. UNDP also works to support regional institutions to enhance the governance and accountability of extractive industries, such as our work in implementing the Africa Mining Vision.
Through the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP helps strengthen the necessary policy, legislative and financial instruments to mainstream biodiversity conservation and reduce environmental impacts in the extractive industry, including in Colombia, Guinea, Madagascar, Mauritania, Nigeria, South Africa and Uzbekistan.
UNDP’s mission is to ensure that natural wealth is used to improve people’s lives. We will continue to work with governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, local communities and other affected groups to realise this mission.