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Sustainability

Responsible mining in the Andean countries


07.12.2018 |

Given that mining is a starting point to source the raw materials needed to change our energy and transportation systems, how can mining be designed to lead to sustainable and inclusive development in producer countries?

A high-level group of State Secretaries of Latin American Ministries of the Environment and Mining, representatives of civil society and the Latin American and European economies, discussed this question on November 19, 2018 in Lima. Organizers were the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The Latin American representative of the BMZ, Dr. Christiane Bögemann-Hagedorn and the Executive Secretary of CEPAL, Ms. Alicia Bárcena, opened the conference with keynote speeches. The focus of the exchange was on the central principle of the Agenda 2030: "leave no one behind". At the same time, the interactions between mining activities and the various sustainability dimensions were discussed. These include the current requirements for good resource governance such as environmental democracy, participation mechanisms and access to information.

In particular, the international supply chains of copper and lithium played a key role in terms of the "new demand" for raw materials for the global transformation of energy and transportation systems. This demand is not purely quantitative, but goes beyond by including qualitative criteria, such as social and environmental aspects of production. Since lithium is particularly relevant for the production of batteries for electric cars, participants discussed the current challenges and potential of lithium mining from the perspectives of social, economic and environmental sustainability. Furthermore, the framework conditions for increased raw material recycling were introduced, in particular dialoguing with the private sector.

The results of the event were included in the Latin Mining Ministers' Conference held in Lima on November 20, 2018 and will be further developed within the project 'Regional Cooperation for the Sustainable Design of Mining in the Andes' together with the partners of CEPAL. The Sector Program Extractives for Development has supported the preparation of the conference and will continue to cooperate with the regional project due to numerous content-related interfaces.

For further information please contact Tim Schlösser.

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