Mineral Resource Governance in the 21st Century: Gearing Extractive Industries towards Sustainable Development

United Nations Environment Programme ; International Resource Panel (2020)

The report calls for moving beyond the established paradigm of the ‘Social License to Operate’, towards a new governance reference point that enables public, private and other relevant actors in the extractive sector to make decisions compatible with the 2030 Agenda’s vision of sustainable development. The new governance framework put forward in the report is referred to as the ‘Sustainable Development License to Operate’ which extends the Social License to Operate in several important ways. It is relevant to all actors in the extractive sector, and its implementation is a shared responsibility by ‘host’ and ‘home’ countries along the extractive value chain. Importantly, it addresses a broader subject matter integrating all pillars – people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership – of sustainable development, and sets out principles, policy options and good practices for enhancing the extractive sector’s contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This report shows that good governance is key to managing environmental and social impacts, and unlocking the sector’s potential as a catalyst of sustainable growth and development. It sets out principles and policy options that can help consolidate existing instruments, strike fairer deals, promote an equal share of benefits and ensure the protection of nature and people’s lives.

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