The modern-day slavery act recently introduced calls business and governments to action in order to prevent forced labor through the global supply chain, including in sectors like mining. Extractive companies are being asked to know and show that they understand how their activities affect human rights, not just at the point of extraction, but also through their supply chain. Rather than responding when issues are raised, the UN guiding principles asks companies to take a proactive and transparent management approach. Companies are also being encouraged to support, promote, and advance human rights enjoyment.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (or the SDGs) provide an important focal point for the industry in this respect. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
These 17 Goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities. The goals are all interrelated, many times solutions for one involves apprehending the issues linked with another.
The SDG work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the right choices now to improve life, in a sustainable way, for future generations. They provide clear guidelines and targets for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own priorities and the environmental challenges of the world at large. The SDGs are an inclusive agenda. They tackle the root causes of poverty and unite us together to make a positive change for both people and planet. “Poverty eradication is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda, and so is the commitment to leave no-one behind,” The United Nations Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner said. “The Agenda offers a unique opportunity to put the whole world on a more prosperous and sustainable development path. In many ways, it reflects what UNDP was created for.”
Despite the fact that the mining industry is broad in scope, the nature of typical mining operations highlights opportunities to implement and contribute to these SDGs.
Opportunities for mining companies to positively contribute are found across all of the goals. Barksanem™ has made a conscience effort to implement several international protocols and guidelines to ensure that these SDGs are respected. In general, a company’s specific involvement in these SDGs will depend on the territorial context, the mineral resource, the stage of mining activities (exploration, development, extraction or closure), and the data obtained from local micro-collectivities through discourse and engagement.