IAIA24: SEA for mining in a just transformation

2 May 2024

The NCEA and the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) held a panel discussion on SEA in the mining sector at the IAIA24 conference in Dublin. Panellists underlined the need to build awareness and strengthen capacities on the benefits of SEA for responsible mining. While SEAs are mandatory in many countries all over the world, the amount of countries that apply SEA in the mining sector is rather limited.

With the steeply increasing demand for energy transition minerals it is more urgent than ever to develop programmes, plans and policies for mining that are informed by SEAs. The session underlined the need to hold sector agencies accountable for the development of SEAs and to clarify responsibilities of all actors involved in SEA development and implementation.

If SEAs are carried out in isolation, there is a risk that they will not be implemented. Implementation requires ownership of the relevant government departments and other key stakeholders from the start. This includes involvement of traditional authorities and bottom-up participation. The session brought together around 200 participants from all over the world, that noted many advantages of SEA for mining (picture below).

Prior to this discussion, the NCEA and IGF published a report a report on SEA for the mining sector. This report provides an analysis on how environmental assessments (SEA) can improve mining sector governance and points out the benefits through several country case studies. The report is available in English and in French