Representation for the UNEP Mineral Resource Governance Resolution

In response to UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme)’s Regional Consultative Meetings on the United Nations Environment Assembly resolution on Mineral Resource Governance, Common Cause submitted its comments and recommendations on September 3, 2020.

Some of our suggestions were:

  • Minerals represent great wealth and a global wealth asset management system is in order to ensure that mineral wealth is not depleted with the present generation.
  •  IMF and related standard setters must amend their standard to treat extraction as the sale of great inherited wealth and the State has to be held not only responsible, but also liable for preservation of the mineral resources (not just limited to prohibition of illegal/unsustainable mining). This includes a high security mineral supply chain system, best practices from outsourcing contracts, system auditors, a whistle-blower reward and protection scheme, etc.
  • The State shall also be responsible for conducting proper due diligence to ensure that individuals and bodies dealing with mineral wealth follow the highest standards of integrity.
  •  Transparency charters must be established, with complete public access and empowerment to verify all or any data concerning outsourced service providers converting mineral wealth to financial wealth. 
  •  Implementation of fair mining and creation of a global legal framework to deal with mineral wealth.

In addition, we strongly advocated that UNEP (a) adopt the intergenerational equity principle as the foundation principle for examining mineral resource governance, (b) adopt the “shared inheritance” paradigm for mineral resources and eschew “revenue”, “tax,” “earnings” or “income” when referring to royalty and other mineral sale proceeds, (c) recommend that IMF and related standards setters amend their standard to treat extraction as the sale of great inherited wealth, (d) recommend that states and other trustees / managers of mineral wealth treat it as wealth held in trust for the people and future generations separate from proprietary property, (e) recommend the implementation of the full framework, especially the five principles of fair mining, (f) recommend that UNCLOS (United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea) be updated to reflect our improved understanding of issues of biodiversity, corruption, transparency, etc from extraction of minerals, (g) similar legal treaties be negotiated for the other global mineral commons.