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Message from the Director

August 22, 2016

We are heading into an exciting period for IGF.

The Canadian government has infused the organization with the funds necessary to expand our impact and reach and has transferred Secretariat functions to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD.) We are grateful for this support which will allow the Secretariat to better serve its members.

We have a lot of work ahead of us: planning for the Annual General Meeting; four Mining Policy Framework (MPF) Assessments; capacity-training workshops; two guidance documents; a potential revision of the MPF and an expanded and updated public presence.

We are looking forward to the challenge.

The Annual General Meeting—set for October 24–28, 2016 in Geneva—is fast approaching, and we are building an engaging program. The theme is Sustainable Development Goals and Mining and more details can be found in the preliminary agenda.

We are working on four MPF Assessments—in Senegal, Mongolia, Suriname and Burkina Faso—and would welcome additional requests.

  • We were in Senegal in July for the field phase of the assessment and plan to present the analysis soon. Senegal is currently in the process of drafting a new mining policy and has requested our input.
  • The field phase of the Mongolian assessment is set for August.
  • The field phase for Suriname is tentatively scheduled for late September.
  • A workplan is being developed for Burkina Faso.

We have two guidance documents in the works and are also conducting a comparative analysis of Sustainable Development Goals against the MPF.

  • The Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) guidance document will be presented to members at the AGM in October. More information on the process and a copy of the draft document can be seen here.
  • Work has also begun on a guidance document titled Government Measures to Reduce and Eliminate Illicit Flows of Money in Mining: Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. It is currently in the early research phase. More details are available here.

IGF is partnering with three organizations to conduct a comparative analysis of Sustainable Development Goals against its flagship MPF. This builds off previous work performed by the United Nations Development Program, the World Economic Forum and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. The completed report will be presented to members at the AGM in October and will be used as the basis for a proposal to update the MPF.

IGF was invited to perform two important pieces of training and capacity-building work as a result of IISD’s long-standing relationship with West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).

  • The EALA asked us to review regional mining policies and our initial results were presented at a June 2016 workshop in Arusha, Tanzania. Coming out of this workshop, IGF was given the mandate to cooperate on developing a regional mining policy for the East African Community.
  • IGF also conducted a two-week training workshop for UEMOA members in April 2016 on mining contracts and the environmental management of mines.

We are also working to strengthen IGF’s public image: we have refreshed IGF branding with a new logo and modern design, published our first newsletters, expanded our social media presence and have launched a redesigned website.

This is part of a broader strategy to engage more deeply with members and stakeholders as we strive to implement new initiatives.

I am eager to meet you all in Geneva. I welcome your suggestions for ways in which the Secretariat can best serve IGF members.

 By Greg Radford, Director, IGF