UNDP’s Strategy for Supporting Sustainable and Equitable Management of the Extractive Sector for Human Development

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UNDP’s Strategy for Supporting Sustainable and Equitable Management of the Extractive Sector for Human Development

September 20, 2016

The management of extractive sectors (oil, gas and minerals) is a major challenge and opportunity for developing countries today. The exploitation of non-renewable natural resources has often triggered violent conflicts, degraded the environment, worsened gender and other inequalities, displaced communities, and undermined democratic governance. In contrast, there are plenty of cases where the effective management of a society’s natural resources has unleashed sustainable and equitable human development.


It is the design and implementation of a broad set of policies that determines whether countries can harness extractive resources for sustainable development for all. These include new or reformed legal and fiscal frameworks, reinforced public financial management systems, mechanisms for allocating revenues for high social returns and job-intensive sectors, measures to address displacement and mitigate negative social and environmental impacts, and establishing strategies to diversify production away from extractives.

This paper proposes a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) strategy to support the efforts of resource-rich developing countries to design and implement such policies. The importance of developing this strategy is underlined by the growing number of countries that seek UNDP’s support in managing the risks associated with natural resource wealth, and in transforming this wealth into advances in human development for all women and men. The strategy builds on UNDP’s past and present programmes and projects that support the management of oil, gas and mineral resources. The strategy is also informed by initiatives undertaken by international, regional and national organizations and institutions.


The strategy has three elements: i) an organizing framework for UNDP’s engagement; ii) an integrated package of services to respond to unmet demand, exploiting the potential for synergies across UNDP’s practice areas; iii) a new UNDP initiative, proposing indicative activities and their mode of delivery.