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About Us

The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) supports its more than 80 member countries in advancing their sustainable development goals through effective laws, policies, and regulations for the mining sector.

We help governments take action to develop inclusive and gender-equitable practices, optimize financial benefits, support livelihoods, and safeguard the environment. Our work covers the full mining life cycle, from exploration to mine closure, and projects of all sizes, from artisanal mining to large-scale operations.

Guided by our members’ needs, we provide in-country assessments, capacity building, technical training, publications, and events to advance best practices, peer learning, and engagement with industry and civil society.

Our Focus Areas

Our work focuses on key policy areas to help governments foster a more sustainable mining sector.

Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining
Supporting gender equality, economic prosperity, social development, and environmental management through ASM.
Environmental and Social Impact Assessments
Managing how mining operations affect communities and natural landscapes by evaluating and improving legal frameworks and environmental and social aspects of resource governance.
Environmental Management
Managing natural resources and ecosystems with a focus on water, biodiversity, mine waste, and emergency preparedness and response throughout the mining life cycle.
Financial Benefits
Funding governments’ long-term economic, environmental, and social priorities.
Gender Equality
Ensuring women’s meaningful participation in mining to support sustainable livelihoods, communities, and environments.
Local Content Policies
Using local content policies for inclusive, gender-equitable, and sustainable socio-economic development.
New Technologies
Adapting to new and evolving technologies that are transforming the mining sector.
Mine Closure and Post-Mining Transition
Promoting environmental integrity, climate change mitigation and social benefits through well-planned mine closure and post-mining land use.

Our History

How did the IGF emerge as the global forum for more than 80 member countries advancing good mining governance for sustainable development?

The IGF originated at the United Nations (UN) 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.

At the summit, UN members with an interest in mining collaborated on paragraph 46 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, emphasizing priorities related to mining’s importance for social and economic development, the value of minerals for modern living, and the need to enhance contributions from the sector.

Acknowledging the lack of a suitable global forum to advance these priorities, Canada and South Africa spearheaded a UN Type II partnership to fill the void.

This partnership was formalized in 2005 when the IGF launched with 25 founding member countries and the Government of Canada serving as the founding host. That same year, the IGF would hold its first Annual General Meeting, hosted by UNCTAD at the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva. 

By 2015, the IGF’s membership had nearly doubled to 47 nations. In the same year Canada decided to move the Secretariat’s administration outside of its government to better meet the needs of the growing IGF membership and the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Canada provided core funding to the International Institute for Sustainable Development to take over the Secretariat’s administration starting in October 2015.

In 2021, the Government of the Netherlands joined Canada as a core funder of the IGF.

Membership growth has continued throughout, with more than 80 nations now sitting as IGF members, including most of the world’s major mining jurisdictions.

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Funders and Partners

The IGF’s core funding is provided by the governments of Canada and the Netherlands.

We also have programmatic funding from:

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Ford Foundation
  • Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SADC)
  • United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
  • United States Department of State

And we are grateful for the support of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for hosting our Annual General Meeting at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Annual reports

2022 IGF Annual Report

In 2022, we saw a growing appreciation of the importance of mining in supporting new technologies and a low-carbon energy transition. As the global pandemic exposed gaps in the global e

2021 IGF Annual Report

Throughout 2021, our members adapted to some of the worst crises society has seen, from the effects of COVID-19 to climate change. We tailored our support to help them advance their sus

2020 IGF Annual Report

The 2020 IGF Annual Report highlights a year marked by challenges, opportunities, growth, and staying connected with our member countries.

2019 IGF Annual Report

The 2019 IGF Annual Report chronicles a year of growth and engagement with our member countries to ensure mining activity supports sustainable development.

2018 IGF Annual Report

The IGF 2018 annual report dives into our commitment to making sure mining’s benefits are not just shared but leveraged for sustainable development by our 69 member countries.

2017 IGF Annual Report

Read the IGF’s 2017 Annual Report, highlighting successes throughout the year and how leveraging mining for sustainable development can limit negative impacts and ensure financial

2016 IGF Annual Report

The achievements and objectives of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) are detailed in its first annual report.

IGF Secretariat Documents

IGF Mining Policy Framework

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IGF Rules of Procedure

A detailed outline of the Secretariat’s operational rules and processes.
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The History of the IGF

How did the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) emerge as the global forum for more than 80 member countries advancing good mining gove
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