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Extractive industries

UNDP supports over 50 countries globally to maximize economic and social benefits and implement environmental and social safeguards in the extractive sector, in line with UNDP’s Strategy for Supporting Sustainable and Equitable Management of the Extractive Industries. Our aim is to ensure that natural wealth is used to improve people’s lives. We work with all relevant stakeholders to realize this mission.

UNDP supports countries to strengthen policies, plans, and capacities to ensure that extraction is environmentally and socially sustainable and contributes to human development, and that revenues are effectively and transparently invested in support of the SDGs. Through the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme, UNDP helps improve sustainability and productivity of small scale mining in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific countries.

Mineral, oil, and gas resources bring significant opportunities for countries to achieve development. Revenue from utilising natural resources in turn provides financing for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); extractive industry investments can catalyse economic development and diversification, skills development, and technology transfer.

However, with extraction also comes risks. These include volatile economic growth, violent conflicts, corruption, environmental degradation and linked social harms, human rights violations, and gender-based violence. 

To address these risks and raise awareness, UNDP promotes participation of civil society, women’s organisations, indigenous peoples, and other key stakeholders. We engage companies to align operations and social investments with local development priorities. An example of our work to ensure that extraction is in line with international standards on human rights is our Environmental Governance Programme, active in Colombia, Kenya, Mongolia, and Mozambique.

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