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New Publication: the Interoperability of Mining Sustainability Initiatives

New Publication: Leveraging greater impact of mining sustainability initiatives: An assessment of interoperability

11.08.2017 |

The sector programme Extractives and Development and the University of Queensland just published the research report ‘Leveraging greater impact of mining sustainability initiatives: An assessment of interoperability. It states enhancing the interoperability of different mining sustainability initiatives in the mining sector will increase their effectiveness and promote the developmental potentials of the extractive sector.

Sustainability initiatives in mining aim at making mining and metals supply chains more sustainable through laws and regulations, standards and certification schemes. Initiatives have multiplied since the 1990s, which complicated their application and diminished their effectiveness. It therefore became important to explore collaboration and interoperability opportunities between existing standards in order to (i) lower the compliance costs, (ii) reduce stakeholder misunderstanding, (iii) amplify the reach, (iv) improve outcomes and (v) increase efficiency.

The University of Queensland carried out an 18-months research project on the interoperability of mineral sustainability initiatives relevant to mining and metals supply chains. This was done with the support of the sector programme Extractives and Development on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).The project is aimed at assisting civil society, business and governments to better co-ordinate and align efforts to ensure improved sector performance as a result of their sustainability initiatives. The research project analyses the concept of interoperability, which describes the degree to which the diverse sustainability initiatives in the extractive sector are able to work together to achieve a common goal.

The research combines theoretical and conceptual analysis with on-the-ground field research and provides information on positive examples of cooperation. The project compares 18 initiatives with respect to their type, thematic scope, assurance process, and sanctions for non-compliance. Among the initiatives included in the research are the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), the Fairtrade Standard for Gold and Associated Precious Metals (Fairtrade) and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The research also contains two case studies, i.e. (1) the synergies of the EITI with the certification programme of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) with focus on information sharing, data collection and peer-learning; and (2) the collaboration and cross-recognition of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and Fairmined in Brazil and Columbia.

Find a short summary of the research findings including its recommendations on our website www.bmz.en/rue.

The report can be downloaded here: http://www.bmz.de/rue/GIZ_Interoperability_Report

For further information, please contact Leopold von Carlowitz (leopold.carlowitz@giz.de )

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