Since 2016, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been working to promote better mining sector governance through its Canadian Extractive Sector Facility (CANEF), a trust fund financed by Global Affairs Canada. This project closed operations in 2022, after channeling CAD 20 million towards various initiatives aimed at enhancing and fostering accountability, gender equity, transparency, dialogue, and value chains within the sector.
CANEF has brought together diverse players, including governments, civil society organizations, and private sector entities to work towards the common goal of responsible mining governance, a remarkable achievement. With CANEF, the IDB has supported the strengthening of institutions responsible for sector oversight and monitoring, as well as the development of tools and platforms that promote greater transparency and participation, such as online databases of mining concessions and contracts.
In essence, after 60 years of intermittent involvement, CANEF allowed the IDB to build a coherent agenda in the mining sector, recognizing its contribution to sustainable development. More specifically, it allowed the Bank to effectively respond to the needs of many of its member countries. This was done by bolstering their capacity to create value and improve lives by leveraging their mineral resources, which are some of the most important on a global scale.
Much work remains to be done, of course, as the region’s mining sector continues to face significant challenges from lack of transparency, weak governance structures, or environmental and social impacts. These challenges will compound as mining activity expands in response to increased global demand for the region’s plentiful mineral resources that are critical to decarbonization efforts throughout the world. We must be cognizant of those challenges as we support the region’s efforts to responsibly and sustainably supply the metals and minerals that will drive the world of tomorrow and lead to better lives. Indeed, it is Latin America’s lithium, copper, nickel, graphite, and rare earths that will make the deployment of solar panels, wind turbines, EV batteries and a host of other technologies necessary for a better climate possible.
In recognition of the support provided by the government of Canada and to discuss the opportunities for decarbonization that stem from developing the region’s mineral resources, the IDB is hosting Better Lives, Better Climate: Latin America and its minerals at the Prospectors and Development Association of Canada (PDAC) 2023 Mining Convention on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. Sector experts from government and industry will be discussing the challenges and opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean’s mining sector as it pertains to decarbonizing the global economy and creating value chains leveraged in renewable energy. The discussion will delve into the role that the international donor community – governments, multilaterals, and private sector – can play in supporting a responsible mining sector that is conducive to sustainable development.
We encourage all PDAC attendees to join us in this event, as we are certain it will provide valuable insights for those interested in the mining sector and its contribution to the energy transition.