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Environmental Management

Guidance document coverMineable deposits exist in both convenient and inconvenient locations. They can be remote or close to human settlements, near water sources and ecologically sensitive regions, and in areas prone to fierce storms or seismic activity. The active and sustainable management of these ecosystems and natural resources throughout the mining life cycle will help avoid or mitigate negative impacts and facilitate successful remediation. Conversely, a failure to effectively manage these impacts can threaten the continued viability of operations and undermine the relationships between a mining company, affected communities, and all levels of government.

As part of a public consultation, the IGF Secretariat has released the first draft of its forthcoming Guidance for Governments: Environmental Management and Mining Governance which is designed to help IGF member states implement the IGF’s Mining Policy Framework (MPF).

This guidance focuses on the role that national governments can play to ensure the effective and sustainable management of the environment and natural resources by the mining sector, using the legislative, regulatory, and policy tools and mechanisms at their disposal. The guidance covers what governments must do before, during, and after mining to ensure that the environment and its natural resources are continuously well managed. Drawing from the MPF, it highlights the key issues, benchmarks, and standards in four main areas of environmental management in mining—water, biodiversity, waste, and emergency preparedness and response—and the role of governments in ensuring that each is effectively managed in support of sustainable development.

English Draft Guidance Document


The IGF invites members and all stakeholders to review the draft guidance and submit written feedback. The guidance drafting team is looking for feedback on all content and will use the results from this consultation to produce a final document that will help governments improve their environmental management governance in the mining sector. Please submit feedback to IGF at by December 11, 2020.

The IGF also hosted a global consultation on government’s role in mining governance and this first draft guidance on the Goxi platform from September 21 to October 9, 2020. The consultation focused on four key topics – water, biodiversity, mine waste, and emergency preparedness and response – and solicited input from experts on key issues, benchmarks, standards and governance options at the policy, regulatory, and project levels.

IGF guidance documents are developed by the IGF Secretariat based on the MPF and good international practices. The MPF represents government approaches for managing the minerals sector in a manner that optimizes the sector’s contributions to sustainable development.

Why Is IGF Working on Environmental Management?

At the 2019 IGF Annual General Meeting, member governments identified the need for guidance on environmental management practices and policies to help them better balance resource extraction with environmental protection. The health of natural resources and ecosystems underpins the health of communities and economies and must be protected and supported for any society to thrive.

Infographic about environmental management for mining

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Our Drafting Team

This report was developed under the supervision of Matthew Bliss and Alec Crawford. It was written by Alec Crawford, Jenifer Hill, and Matthew Bliss.

More Information

For more information, please contact Matthew Bliss at or Alec Crawford at