Concepts & Topics

Social and ecological aspects

Mine water in an abandoned open pit

Leave No One Behind - LNOB in the extractive sector

ASM Kono Westafrica

"Leave No One Behind" (LNOB) is the guiding principle of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. But how does LNOB fit into the extractive sector and what is German development cooperation doing to "leave no one behind" in terms of responsible raw material production? Find out more about LNOB and specific projects in the raw materials sector. more

Human rights

Working conditions in Serra Pelada, Brasil

The approach of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to human rights is to systematically apply the principles of human rights to all German development cooperation activities, including and in particular those in the extractive sector. The Extractives and Development sector programme supports the implementation of the human rights-based approach across the entire portfolio of German development cooperation activities in the extractive sector and helps projects outside Germany to plan their activities accordingly. more

Strengthening gender equality in the extractive sector

Woman in ASM in Kono (Westafrica)

The mining sector has different impacts on women and girls than it has on men. Women suffer more from the negative consequences of mining, such as the pollution of the cattle and arable land they tend - and the danger of diseases. They are also less likely to benefit from its positive effects, such as access to well-paid jobs. When it comes to gender inequality, mining is still one of the most unequal industries in the world. Learn more about gender inequality in mining and read about the commitments made by the Extractives and Development sector programme to improve this situation in the extractive sector. more

Responsibility along the supply chain

Regulation ASM

When choosing products, consumers today no longer only look for quality, they also check for responsible production. It has meanwhile become important to them that the raw materials processed in their products have neither contributed to human rights violations nor environmental damage. Blood diamonds, child labour and environmental damage all deter consumers. This is why companies are increasingly obliged to address social and ecological standards throughout the entire supply chain - from the extraction of the natural resources to smelting and product manufacture. However, this is not an easy task: the supply and production chains are complex and multi-layered, especially if the extraction of the resources takes place in countries with weak government structures and/or in crisis regions. You can find more information on this topic and the activities of the Extractives and Development programme here.

Climate-sensitive and environmentally-conscious mining

Environment and mining

The growing global demand for minerals and metals offers opportunities for resource-rich developing countries, but it also presents them with challenges: Without climate-friendly and environmentally-friendly mining practices, the negative impacts of mining can increase, the climate balance can be burdened, and the environment in surrounding communities can be adversely affected. Learn more about the topic here. more

Artisanal and small-scale mining

Small-scale mining in Mozambique

In many emerging and developing countries, mineral resources are extracted not only using industrial mining methods but also in much smaller-scale operations. The World Bank estimates that the livelihoods of between 80 and 100 million people around the globe are dependent on artisanal and small-scale mining. As much as 20 per cent of the world’s gold production takes place in this way. Small-scale mining is thus both a significant economic factor and an important source of income. At the same time, though, small-scale mining presents one of the greatest challenges in the extractive sector, because resources are often extracted illegally and under shockingly bad working conditions. more

Conflict and Mining

Columbit-Tantalit Ore

In some countries, the extraction of and trade in certain minerals has helped to fund violent conflict. Curbing the illegal production of and trade in natural resources in places where they help to finance conflict is an important sphere of activity for the international community. The Extractives and Development sector programme promotes the development and dissemination of certificates of origin and certification mechanisms in the extractive sector. more

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