The officials of Mineral Development Division and Mining Division from the Department of Geology and Mines, MoEA attended the 16th Annual General Meeting of Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development’s (IGF). The IGF is a voluntary initiative supporting more than 76 nations devoted to optimizing the benefits of mining to achieve poverty reduction, inclusive growth, social development and environmental stewardship. Bhutan joined as a 70th member of IGF in 2019.
The impacts of COVID-19 on the mining industry are a major focus of this year’s Annual General Meeting of the IGF. The 16th AGM opened on 20th October, 2020 and is the first of its kind to take place in a virtual format, due to travel restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. It will be a three day programme closing on 22th October, 2020.
The virtual event will be attended by the representatives from government, industry, and civil society organizations in two parallel sessions viz. Stage A and Stage B. On the first day, the virtual meeting covered topics on “The Future of Mining Employment and Skills; Building Resilient Communities; Global Standards for Environmental and Tailings Management, and Global Mine Closure Needs: Government and industry responses.”
On subsequent days, the IGF will host sessions on “COVID-19’s impact on ASM, Responsible Sourcing, and Climate Change Action; and The Future of Resource Taxation.” In addition, topics such as “Community Engagement and Environmental, and Social Impact Assessment” are also scheduled for discussion. Each session has a provision for interpretation in English, French, and Spanish.