British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Mining, minerals and integrity : insights and outcomes of the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) North America Project McPhie, Michael R.; Hodge, Tony


The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the program, outputs and major conclusions of the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) North America Project. Through its 18 month existence, MMSD North America set out to generate a Strategy for Change - a blueprint that would provide specific suggestions for action that would help ensure mining and minerals contributed to society's overall transition to sustainable development. From its inception, the targets for such a Strategy for Change included industry (juniors, intermediates, seniors, services), government (federal, state/provincial, local), First Nations/Native Americans, organized labour, mining dependent communities, non-government organizations, and the academic community. MMSD North America, coordinated through the International Institute for Sustainable Development (USD), was one of the four regional contributors to the global MMSD Project that reached it's conclusion with the Global Mining Initiative (GMI) conference in Toronto on May 12 - 15, 2002. To fulfill its mandate, participants of MMSD North America opted to pursue a four-part strategy. First, effort was put into articulating the story of North American mining and minerals from the perspective of sustainability: how a contribution has been made to human and ecosystem well-being, positive and negative. Each community of interest has a different take on the story. These differences are vital to recognize for they reflect different values at play - values that are dynamic. Matching this initial perspective, a second task group set out to describe future scenarios and their implications for the various communities of interest. A third task was aimed at developing a practical approach to assessing a project or operations contribution to sustainability. Together these three sets of activities provided the foundation for the fourth and ultimate task, production of the Strategy for Change.

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