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Message from the Chair

August 21, 2016

IGF has grown into an institution that plays a key role on the world stage.

It is the only organization that brings together all major players in the mining sector—governments, industry and civil society—to find practical solutions to the complex challenges of sustainable development.
By facilitating an open dialogue among these competing forces, IGF has fostered mutual understanding and respect. While we do not yet have all the answers, IGF has created an enabling environment in which we can work together to find common solutions.
Our perspectives have shifted as a result of this engagement. Industry is recognizing its responsibility to share profits and mine responsibly. Governments are recognizing that mining can be leveraged to accomplish wider goals like poverty reduction and economic development.

It’s a step-by-step process and we are not there yet. By sharing experiences and ideas, we are working towards an understanding of how to ensure that the benefits of mining are shared not just by shareholders but by all stakeholders.

The Mining Policy Framework is a fantastic tool that can help governments achieve their goals by strengthening policies and institutions. I am very much looking forward to seeing how an upcoming MPF Assessment will help Suriname, and I encourage members to request this valuable service.

IGF is also working on guidance documents that will help members expand their understanding of mining finance, such as how best to structure royalty agreements, and how to best manage the challenges and leverage the opportunities of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM).

The leadership and expertise provided by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) will allow IGF to help members address one of the deepest challenges in mining today: good governance. Strong institutions are critical for achieving sustainable development.

Mining can be a force for good. Industry can help. But it is up to government to direct that force to the correct ends.

I hope—no, I am convinced—that we can work together in the coming years to further strengthen IGF and ensure that this movement we have built—to work together to advance sustainable mining—is here for generations to come.

By Glenn Gemerts, Chair, IGF Executive Committee