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.
In 2011, exports of oil and minerals from Africa, Asia, and Central and South America were worth over (US) $1.4 trillion. This is more than 10 times the value of official development assistance provided to these same regions. 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.
Canada's support helps equip governments with better knowledge about their own natural resources and assists them in making specialized decisions at all stages of exploration, development, and operation in the extractive sector.
Canada is assisting governments establish and implement policies, regulations, and human rights frameworks 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 establishing the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development under the international development Partnerships with Canadians Programs. This new institute will be housed at the University of British Columbia, working in partnership with Simon Fraser University, It will contribute to sustainable economic growth, job creation and long-term efforts to reduce poverty in developing countries. The institute will:
Through the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Canada is also providing support to the new African Mineral Development Centre, as announced in January 2013. The Centre will deliver guidance and policy advice to African countries on how to manage their extractive sectors responsibly and transparently. The Centre will also provide a forum focused on generating innovative approaches to increase the contribution of the extractive sector to reduce poverty in Africa.
Canada is helping to foster economic development in resource-rich developing countries by increasing access for local micro, small, and medium-sized businesses operating in and around the extractive sector to skills development, technology transfer, and technical and vocational training, in order to improve their profitability, productivity and integration into the formal economy.
Through its efforts 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.
Canada is assisting communities and people in need to work towards and realize the greatest benefit from the mining and extraction of natural resources. This means providing support to address the challenges often associated with the sector, strengthening governance capacity at all levels of government, improving community engagement, revenue collection and transparency, developing specialized human resources, and providing effective environmental oversight.
In addition, Canada works to advance international standards and guidelines to improve performance by all actors involved in the extractive sector.
Canada supports the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an initiative under which 59 transparency reports have been produced by 23 countries, making information on more than $400 billion in revenue in the mining and extractive industry sector available to hundreds of millions of citizens. EITI is a multi-stakeholder international initiative comprising governments, private sector companies, civil society groups, investors, and international organizations. The initiative focuses on the public reconciliation of payments by extractive companies with the revenue received by governments.
Canada supports the Extractive Industries Technical Advisory Facility to assist developing countries gain negotiating skills and expertise in implementing policy and regulatory frameworks to manage mining, oil and natural gas industries responsibly and transparently.
Canada also manages the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development, a unique global venue for ongoing discussions among developing countries on practical issues related to the sustainable management and development of the extractive sector. It provides a platform for dialogue between governments, mining companies and industry associations. The Mining Policy Framework developed by the Forum was informed by Canada’s own approach and is guiding reforms in several developing countries.
Canada is investing in pilot projects led by non-governmental organizations, which leverage private sector funding to advance sustainable development objectives. Pilot projects underway include:
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.