Ramsar-related Recommendations of the World Parks Congress, Durban, September 2003


Rec 5.28 Protected areas: mining and energy

Minerals, which include metals, coal, hard rock, sand, gravel, and other underground natural resources such as oil, natural gas, are increasingly in demand in response to population growth, urbanisation, expansion in industry and farming, and the ever-more consumptive lifestyles that characterise the modern world.

At the same time mining, which for the purpose of this motion includes exploration, exploitation, transportation, and processing of hydrocarbons, base metals, precious metals and other minerals, often has a damaging impact upon biodiversity and other natural and cultural values that protected areas are meant to safeguard.

Furthermore, many local and indigenous peoples living in or around protected areas have either suffered or gained insufficient benefits from the activities of extractive industries on land which they occupy or consider being theirs as they have at times from other land-uses including establishment of protected areas.

At the 2nd IUCN World Conservation Congress (Amman 2000), members adopted Recommendation 2.82 (Protection and conservation of biological diversity of protected areas from the negative impacts of mining and exploration), which: a) calls on State members of IUCN to prohibit mining exploration and extraction in category I-IV protected areas; b) recommends strict controls over such activities in category V and VI protected areas; c) urges strict standards governing changes of protected area boundaries to accommodate mining activities; and d) recommends environmental impact assessments to ensure that mining activities outside protected areas do not negatively impact them.

Since the Amman congress, and in accord with the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation which recognises the importance of minerals and mining for socio-economic development and of partnerships for sustainable development as well as the need to address the environmental, economic, health and social impacts of minerals and mining, members of the conservation community, the extractive industries and financial institutions have been engaged in seeking common ground around the issue of mining and protected areas, usually as part of broader dialogues on the extractive industries’ impact on the environment, in particular through the Energy and Biodiversity Initiative (EBI), the Extractive Industry Review of the World Bank, the Mining and Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) initiative and the Dialogue between IUCN – The World Conservation Union and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM).

At the 5th World Parks Congress there was considerable debate and discussion on this issue, in the context of linkages with private enterprise as a means of advancing common goals and ambitions. It was recognised that any such dialogues should explore all the key issues relating to biodiversity conservation and past, present and future impacts on local peoples, communities, and their environment. But despite the debate, there still remained considerable areas of disagreement, and no conclusive agreement on a precise way forward could be reached at this time.

Nevertheless, PARTICIPANTS in the Stream on Linkages in the Landscape/Seascape at the Vth World Parks Congress, in Durban, South Africa (8-17 September 2003):

1. REITERATE their support for IUCN World Conservation Congress Recommendation 2.82 (Amman, Jordan);

2. RECOGNISE that IUCN World Conservation Congress Recommendation 2.82 (Amman, 2000) taken together with prior WCC Resolutions on Indigenous Peoples can serve as a basis to guide and test the commitment and support of mining and energy companies for protected area conservation and management;

3. RECOGNISE that those elements of the conservation community and those elements of the extractive industry that have expressed a commitment to conserve biodiversity and maintain some protected areas, wish to continue and strengthen their ongoing dialogue and to make them more inclusive by inviting other members of their respective communities, governments (e.g. through UN bodies), international financial institutions, and other stakeholders to develop and promote best practice guidance in order to enhance industry’s contribution to biodiversity conservation; and

4. ALSO RECOGNISE that many people in the conservation community are strongly opposed to this dialogue because they believe it has the potential to undermine conservation efforts by the broader conservation community.

Stream: Linkages in the Landscape/Seascape

Stream Lead: Peter Bridgewater

Recommendation Title
Rec 5.09 Integrated Landscape Management to Support Protected Areas
Rec 5.10 Policy Linkages between Relevant International Conventions and Programmes in Integrating Protected Areas in the Wider Landscape/Seascape
Rec 5.11 A Global Network to Support the Development of Transboundary Conservation Initiatives
Rec 5.20 Preventing and Mitigating Human-Wildlife Conflicts
Rec 5.28 Protected areas: mining and energy
Rec 5.31 Protected areas, freshwater and integrated river basin management frameworks
The full report and other outputs of the WPC stream on "Linkages in the Landscape and Seascape" are available on the Web site of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), http://www.iucn.org/themes/cem/linkages.htm.
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