To provide global best practice guidance on effective legislative regimes, sustainable development, environmental protection and stakeholder inclusiveness in the mining sector, the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (IGF) has developed the Guidance for Governments: Improving Legal Frameworks for Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Management.
Jill Baker and Carolina Leseigneur Torres, two of Golder’s ESIA specialists with international experience, supported the initial development of this guide with a focus on guidance on ESIA and management plan frameworks, strategies and examples. Golder’s Martha Ly was also invited to participate in the expert review panel on this topic at IGF Mining’s annual meeting in Switzerland in 2019.
This guidance document is timely and important as mining companies work to develop projects in a sustainable way, and in so doing, must undertake Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs). And, while many guides on undertaking ESIAs are available through public and government resources, guidance focusing on law and policy frameworks for ESIA and related management plans are scarce. Because regulations can vary across jurisdictions, a global company’s ability to optimize benefits and manage impacts can be affected. When there is a clear legal framework there can be a clear roadmap for companies, communities and stakeholders to realize those benefits.
The purpose of the guide is to:
- Fill the gap for governments and other stakeholders seeking to improve their legal frameworks and management of environment and social impacts in the mining sector.
- Provide an overview of good international practice in legal frameworks for ESIA and related management plans for large scale mines.
- Provide examples, strategies and tools to aid in the evaluation and improvement of legal frameworks and environmental and social aspects of resource governance.1
The guide, including executive summaries in English, French and Spanish, is available online at https://www.igfmining.org/guidance-for-governments/environmental-and-social-impact-assessments/
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1 Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development. 2020. Executive Summary – Guidance for Governments: Improving Legal Frameworks for Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Management. Available at: https://www.iisd.org/sites/default/files/publications/igf-esia-summary-en.pdf
The IGF supports 76 member nations committed to leveraging mining for sustainable development to ensure negative impacts are limited and financial benefits are shared. It is devoted to optimizing the benefits of mining to achieve poverty reduction, inclusive growth, social development, and environmental stewardship. The International Institute for Sustainable Development has served as Secretariat for the IGF since October 2015. Core funding is provided by the Government of Canada.