Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Natural Resources Management

Advancing Global Prosperity Through Responsible Resource Development

The management of natural resources in developing countries is an increasingly important driver of sustainable economic growth. It creates jobs and provides governments with revenue to deliver services to their citizens.

Exports of oil and minerals from Africa, Asia, and Central and South America in 2012 were worth more than US$1.35 trillion—more than 15 times the amount of official development assistance provided to these same regions in that year. Current trends suggest that the importance of the sector will increase as exploration for minerals, oil, and gas continues in developing countries.

As a result, developing countries are increasingly looking at ways to tap into the enormous potential of the extractive sector to stimulate sustainable economic growth and bring people out of poverty.

Canada works with resource-rich developing countries to:

  • Improve the governance of natural resources to strengthen national, regional, and local governments and regulatory institutions to manage the extractive sector transparently and responsibly

    Canada is assisting governments to establish and implement policies, regulations, and strategies that help citizens benefit from the mining and extraction of natural resources. Canada's support is also helping developing countries improve the financial and economic management of their natural resources, including establishing sound taxation and revenue-management systems.

    Canada is helping to equip governments with better knowledge about their own natural resources to make specialized decisions at all stages of exploration, development, and operation in the extractive sector.

    Canada has established the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development (CIIEID), which will harness Canadian and international expertise to strengthen natural resource governance and management in developing countries, leading to a better distribution of revenue and wealth for their people. It will help developing-country governments meet their needs for policy, legislation, regulatory development, and implementation related to their own extractive sectors. Developing-country governments are able to access expertise through technical assistance, education and training, and applied research. The CIIEID is housed at the University of British Columbia, which works in coalition with Simon Fraser University and École Polytechnique de Montréal.

    On June 15, 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada would lead G-8 partnerships with Peru and Tanzania to strengthen transparency and management in their oil, gas, and mining sectors. The partnerships work with governments, civil society, and companies in Tanzania and Peru. The initiatives pursued through these partnerships will help to reduce social and political tensions, improve stakeholder confidence, and create a more stable and attractive investment climate in Tanzania and Peru. The partnerships will also strengthen our relationships with Peru and Tanzania, and help to disseminate Canadian best practices in each region.
  • Grow businesses and improve local economic development through support for local economic diversification

    Canada is helping to foster economic development and improve the contribution of the private sector in resource-rich developing countries by supporting local businesses operating in and around the extractive sector with specific services. These services include technology, skills development, and financial services so that local businesses can access local, regional, and global markets with better economic potential.

    Canada is supporting partnerships between the public and private sector to create better social, economic, and environmental benefits for local communities and long-term value for businesses.

    Through initiatives to grow businesses and improve local economic development, Canada supports efforts to reduce economic barriers for women to access employment in and around the extractive sector, particularly in the formal economy.
  • Enable communities to maximize benefits from the extractive sector to promote inclusive and diversified growth

    Canada is assisting communities and people in need to work toward maximizing the benefits from the extraction of natural resources. These efforts include providing support to address the challenges often associated with the sector. Providing specialized training, for example, improves the abilities of communities to organize, manage, and plan extractive sector development, and works to increase the employment of men, women, and youth.

International Standards and Guidelines

In addition, Canada works to advance international standards and guidelines to improve performance by all actors involved in the extractive sector.

Canada is a lead supporter to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which seeks to increase transparency in oil, gas, and mining sectors through the implementation of standards related to the publication and verification of company tax, royalty payments, and other government revenues. At present, 25 countries have been deemed “EITI-compliant” (including Mozambique, Peru, and Tanzania), with another 16 countries in the process of implementing the EITI. Canada also supports the World Bank’s Extractive Industries Technical Advisory Facility, a unique global venue that facilitates ongoing discussions among developing countries on practical issues related to the sustainable management and development of the extractive sector.

Canada is the leading supporter of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF), the only global forum focused on addressing mineral and mining governance challenges and opportunities. The IGF brings together mining officials in developing countries, trading partners, and donors, in addition to civil society organizations and mining companies, to discuss and advance issues of mutual concern, such as international standards and best practices in extractive sector management and governance.

Canada's Role

Latin America and Caribbean Region

  • Building national governments’ capacities to plan, manage, and regulate the energy sector, as well as implementing practices that promote corporate social responsibility and that support the energy sector in its contribution to efforts in addressing climate change.

Peru, Bolivia, Colombia

  • Providing access to resources for regional and local governments and communities to identify, plan, and manage development projects that address the social and environmental dimensions of the extractive sector and create sustainable economic development while producing empowered communities and improving public service delivery.


  • Contributing to more equitable economic growth in selected areas where extractive industries are active, and improving the expenditure management capacities of municipalities that benefit from extractive sector revenues.
  • Increasing sustainable economic development for Peruvians affected by mining and energy activities in Peru by providing technical assistance to authorities to make the environmental assessment and management of mining and energy activities more effective and to improve the dissemination of information to local communities.
  • Strengthening the production and management capacities of cooperatives in extractive regions, enhancing their access to markets, and supporting local governments to design and implement regional economic diversification plans.


  • Supporting the development of regulations, guidelines, and capacity development to promote the utilization and industrialization of natural gas, as well as the establishment of a hydrocarbon tax department within the Bolivian Revenue Agency, which is responsible for the collection and auditing of more than $2.32 billion in taxes collected from the sector in 2012.


  • Promoting responsible and sustainable development of the extractive industry by
    • improving the systems within the Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency;
    • increasing the comprehensiveness and accuracy of the information available on the revenues, remittances, capital, and operating expenditures of companies in the extractive industry;
    • increasing the availability and dissemination of accurate information on the minerals produced and exported;
    • improving the monitoring and auditing of environmental management practices.
  • Supporting the development of petroleum policy and a legal framework for the gas sector; strengthening the management, coordination, and governance of the gas sector through support to the Tanzania Vocational Education Training Authority; as well as developing the capacity of the Government of Tanzania and its institutions to attract and develop power generation projects with private sector sponsors and financing.
  • Promoting responsible and sustainable development of the extractive industry by nurturing an environment that promotes transparency, strengthening the legal and institutional framework of the EITI in Tanzania as well as its operational processes, and increasing public understanding of extractive industry revenues and how they are used.


  • Improving the incomes and job opportunities of Mozambicans by creating integrated, skills–based training programs and centres of excellence in mining and in oil and gas.


  • Protecting the long-term income perspective of miners by:
    • supporting a number of projects to address the issue of tuberculosis (TB) in mining communities;
    • providing education, as well as testing services, to miners and ensuring proper follow-up for their families when TB cases are found; and
    • linking diagnosed miners with proper treatment and offering assistance when they re-enter the job market.

Pilot projects in partnering for development

The support provided by the Government of Canada to non-governmental organizations has facilitated the achievement of significant leveraging results on a number of pilot projects:

  • In Ghana, with co-financing from Rio Tinto Alcan, World University Service of Canada has strengthened the local government, which now delivers improved education, water, and sanitation services for 134,000 residents and has provided employment training to 325 youth in 12 mining communities.
  • In Peru, with co-financing from Barrick Gold, World Vision Canada has so far helped increase the capacity of the local government to manage mining revenue transferred from the central government and to better engage all community stakeholders in prioritizing needs and diversifying the local economy, including providing business loans that are benefiting more than 500 families.
  • In Burkina Faso, with co-financing from IAMGOLD, Plan Canada to date has built or improved existing infrastructure for 12 vocational training centres and has trained more than 200 teachers and animators in leading-edge approaches to match skills with labour market needs with a view to support approximately 9,000 youth to get employment and contribute to economic development.

Driving the development of new and innovative approaches for natural resources management

Canada is focusing on growing economies more sustainably, managing resources more responsibly, and working more closely with the private sector and other partners to advance global development objectives.

Through this work, Canada's leadership is helping to unlock the economic potential of the developing world, reduce poverty, and build tomorrow's markets for trade and investment.