Forest-Smart Mining

Land use change and degradation are the second leading cause of global warming. Forest loss disrupts ecosystem services, depletes biodiversity, and ultimately undermines the fulfillment of basic human rights. The mining sector is the fourth largest driver of deforestation after agriculture, wood production, and urban development. To tackle the threat that mining poses to forests, the World Bank conceived forest-smart mining as part of their Climate-Smart Mining Initiative, which was launched in 2019.

Forest-smart mining (FSM) is mining that acknowledges and understands the relationship between forests and other land uses such as socio-economic uses and ecosystem services, and actively seeks to reduce loss or damage to those uses, and in some cases, promote a net gain for them. In 2020, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) made funds available to the Extractives Industries and Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy Units of the World Bank to carry out a study on Developing Forest-Smart Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Standards/Guidance, and a second one on Guidance to Applying Nature-Based Solutions in the Large-Scale Mining Sector that examines the scope for mining companies to more robustly finance and support nature-based solutions.

The FCPF funded these studies to get the private sector more directly involved in financing and promoting nature-based solutions in mining related activities. These final reports provide an overview of the projects’ purpose, scope, methodology, and processes, and a compilation of findings, recommendations, and products. Authors of the reports acknowledge with gratitude the valuable input from the Global Advisory Panels for the LSM and ASM reports, contributing to the conceptualization, development, and validation of the main deliverables,

Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining - ASM

This new report, supported by the FCPF, Developing Forest-Smart Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Standards, together with the standard for forest-smart ASM highlights forest-smart mining principles to help miners and local support organizations mitigate ASM impacts on forests and better safeguard their values by seeking to integrate Forest Smart PCIs (Principles, Criteria and Indicators) and Guidelines into source standards, such as GEMFAIR, FairMined and FairTrade and other complementary programs. In addition, there is a suite of road maps, workplans, and budgets for ground-validating the standard in the pilot sites in Colombia, Peru, Ghana, and Liberia.

Blog on How to make artisanal and small-scale mining forest-smart here.

Large-Scale Mining – LSM

The new report Forest-Smart Mining: Guidance to Applying Nature-Based Solutions in the Large-Scale Mining Sector examines the opportunities to take advantage of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and use innovative financial instruments, such as the carbon market, to achieve net-zero GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and biodiversity targets at a large-scale. The report used concrete case studies and partnered with mining companies to assess and measure the impact of mining on forest landscapes and potential market-based solutions. Case studies were from Vale – Brazil, Arcelor Mital – Liberia, and Newmont – Ghana.

As key results, the report highlights the growing interest by Large-Scale Mining companies to become proactively engaged in Nature-based solutions and strategies as well as an increasing awareness of the feasibility of using innovative market mechanisms that will expand financial support for NbS in the mining sector while potentially also helping them to meet net zero GHG targets.