Partnering to Implement the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolution 4/19 on Mineral Resource Governance

The Sustainable Minerals Institute at The University of Queensland has partnered with UNEP to implement  the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolution 4/19 on Mineral Resource Governance. Since early 2020, we have convened a series of consultative meetings during which participants shared knowledge, challenges and good practice examples related to mineral resource governance.

The outcomes of the consultation process provide the basis upon which recommendations and suggested actions will be presented for consideration by the UNEA Session 5.2 in 2023.

What is UNEA?

UNEA is the principal global decision-making body on the environment with universal membership. The fourth session of the UNEA, held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 11-15 March 2019 adopted UNEP/EA.4/Res. 19 on Mineral Resource Governance (the resolution).

What is the resolution on Mineral Resource Governance?

The resolution recognizes the important contribution of mining towards the achievement of the SDGs, the dependence of low-carbon clean technologies on metals and minerals, and the critical role that governance plays in ensuring positive outcomes from mineral development.

The resolution requests the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, on the basis of reports such as those prepared by the International Resource Panel and United Nations Environment Programme-GRID, to collect information on sustainable practices, identify knowledge gaps and options for implementation strategies, and undertake an overview of existing assessments of different governance initiatives and approaches relating to sustainable management of metal and mineral resources, and report thereon to the United Nations Environment Assembly at its fifth session.

What was our role?

UNEP worked jointly with a technical partner, the Sustainable Minerals Institute at The University of Queensland, on the implementation of the resolution, particularly in response to the request contained in operative paragraph 4 to undertake a global consultative process to identify:

  • best practices
  • knowledge gaps
  • assess governance options
  • consider common elements of interest for next steps.

The original plan was to hold in person multi-stakeholder consultations across Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Europe, North America and West Asia. The consultation plan was substantially revised following the outbreak of COVID-19, with a stronger emphasis placed on virtual engagement. The revised goal was to maximise the reach of the virtual format, with the potential for a much larger number of people engaged in the process, but also to ensure the depth of the discussions, due to the shorter amount of time available during the meetings. Funding was provided by the Federal Office of the Environment of the Government of Switzerland in support of the implementation of the resolution.

Where can I find more information?

All of these reports, videos of the consultations, and further resources can be found at:

Project Members

Professor Daniel Franks
Julia Keenan