Message from the Secretariat
The Secretariat wishes to express its gratitude to delegates and speakers who made the IGF’s 13th Annual General Meeting a true forum through their active engagement and interesting presentations.
We are pleased to report that 90 per cent of delegates said they came away with new ideas for how mining can contribute to sustainable development and most are already working to implement them.
Member engagement was incredibly strong. The Secretariat is currently processing dozens of requests for training, technical support and Mining Policy Framework (MPF) assessments received during and immediately following the AGM. A number of nations that participated as observers have also expressed interest in membership.
Looking forward, Secretariat staff will be in Ecuador next week for an MPF assessment, and we are in the planning phases of assessments for Namibia and Kyrgyzstan. IGF Chair Alexander Medina will be at ExpoMinera in Panama November 15–17, 2017.
Our local content team is incorporating feedback received during the AGM into the upcoming guidance document, which is set for release at Investing in African Mining Indaba in February. Our work on tax base erosion and profit shifting is also moving forward following a well-received day-long technical workshop at the AGM.
Please see below for additional highlights of our activities.
“This is a perfect platform to share your experience and learn from others.”
The IGF convened its 13th AGM at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from October 17 to 19, 2017. More than 400 participants registered, including delegates from 65 countries, as well as representatives from over 80 international organizations, industry associations and civil society.
We hope our event page will serve as a resource for both delegates and those unable to attend. It contains meeting reports, the communiqué, conference documents, videos, photos and background materials such as an overview of ASM Global Trends.
Please also take a moment to peruse our survey results, where delegates explain what made the conference so valuable and why they plan to return.
The theme of this year’s meeting was Managing Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM). However, we also covered a wide range of other topics, including: tax base erosion and profit shifting, local content policies, mine closure, voluntary sustainability initiatives and environmental impact assessments.
Tackling Tax Avoidance
For many resource-rich developing countries, mineral resources present an unparalleled economic opportunity to increase government revenue. Tax base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) by multinational corporations and weak tax administration threaten this prospect.
The IGF is working to help governments fight tax avoidance through an ambitious BEPS guidance program that was introduced to members during a day-long technical workshop at the AGM. Presentation materials from the workshop are available on our conference documents page.
We are also offering technical training to help African tax authorities address transfer mispricing in the mining sector through a partnership with the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).
New Tool Helps Mining Companies Assess Biodiversity Requirements
Mining companies seeking to understand their responsibilities to protect biodiversity have a new tool: an online inventory of global offset policies.
The Global Inventory on Biodiversity Offset Policies (GIBOP) is an online database that analyzes environmental laws and legislation from 198 countries and scores them based on the degree of policy progress. It also provides access to the laws, which have been loosely translated into English.
Stephen Edwards, a Senior Program Manager for IUCN’s Business and Biodiversity Program, describes the goals and value of the database in this guest column.
IGF Welcomes New Executive Committee
Please join us in welcoming our new executive committee.
Alexander Medina of Dominican Republic was elected as the IGF’s chair after serving for the past two years as vice-chair.
We are also pleased to welcome newly-elected executive committee members from Argentina (Roberto Sarudiansky), Mongolia (Mandakhbat Sereenov), Senegal (Rohaya Samba) and Uganda (Vincent Kedi).
Germany was re-elected to a second term and we are grateful to Gudrun Franken for her continued participation.
The Secretariat would like to once again thank outgoing chair Glenn Gemerts of Suriname for his service over the past four years. Watch a brief video of Glenn handing over responsibilities to Alexander in these closing remarks.