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Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development - North America

by Rachel Stallings last modified Jun 03, 2015 12:48 PM

In 1999, nine Chief Executive Officers of some of the world's largest mining companies came together in Davos, Switzerland. Driven by a concern that a disconnect had emerged between mining/minerals-related practices and the values of today's society, they voiced a concern that their "social licence to operate" was in jeopardy. Working through the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), they subsequently commissioned the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED, London) to undertake a global review of practices related to mining and minerals and the development of prescriptions for how mining and minerals and the many interacting communities of interest can best contribute to a global transition to sustainable development. The resulting project "Mining, Minerals, and Sustainable Development (MMSD)" was driven by the following four goals. The Goals of the MMSD 1. to assess global mining and minerals use in terms of the transition to sustainable development—its track record in the past and its current contribution to and detraction from economic prosperity, human well-being, ecosystem health and accountable decision-making; 2. to identify if and how the services provided by the minerals system can be delivered in accordance with sustainable development in the future; 3. to propose key elements of an action plan for improvement in the minerals system; and 4. to build a platform of analysis and engagement for ongoing cooperation and networking between all communities of interest. MMSD had both global and regional components. MMSD Global was a project of the International Institute of Environment and Development (London). Independent regional teams were convened in North America as well as Australia, Europe, Indonesia and the Philippines, Latin America, and Southern Africa. The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) served as the North American regional partner. It was assisted in this task by the Mining Life-Cycle Centre, Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada Reno. The final report of MMSD, Breaking New Ground, was presented to the Global Mining Initiative Conference held in Toronto in May 2002. MMSD – North America released its final report Towards Change to the 2002 Annual Meeting of the Mines Ministers of Canada held in Winnipeg in September 2002.

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