Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, February
4, 2016 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, successfully brokered
a new voluntary code of practice (VCP) for common water management and
reporting for the mining industry in the South Gobi region. This collective
effort will safeguard water resources and promote the efficient and transparent
use of water. The VCP is a critical step towards building trust among local
stakeholders, including government authorities, local communities, civil
society organizations, and the media.
Mining is the backbone of Mongolia’s
economy. The arid Gobi region is set to experience a major mining boom.
However, lack of long-term management and resolution of water issues could
derail mining and significantly impact the country’s future growth. Exploration
and mining companies need water for operations and are increasingly aware
that it needs to be managed as a shared resource.
A statement issued by the VCP’s signatories
signed says, “The VCP is a powerful display of corporate accountability.
It is necessary to balance mining sector development with the human need
for water in the Gobi region. We have made a statement of intent; now we
have to deliver on it.”
“The VCP provides the framework for
a positive impact on water management by conserving ecosystems, strengthening
communities, and committing to specific operational practices,” said B.
Byambasaikhan, CEO, Erdenes Mongol, Mongolia’s largest investment holding
company and one of the signatories to the VCP.
“In Mongolia, water is a shared resource
requiring common awareness and joint management approaches,” said Tuyen
D. Nguyen, Resident Representative for IFC in Mongolia. “The mining industry’s
comittment to the VCP shows its willingness to take a sector-wide approach
to address a national challenge.”
IFC has engaged the mining sector in
the South Gobi (SG) region since 2013 with the overall goal of improving
the water management and stakeholder engagement practices. IFC and the
South Gobi Water and Mining Industry Roundtable worked together with
over ten companies to developthe VCP, which is based on leading international
practices on community engagement, participatory water management, and
VCP Signatories: Erdenes Mongol,
Oyu Tolgoi, Energy Resources, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, Erdene Resource Development,
South Gobi Sands, Terra Energy, Gobi Coal and Energy.
With support from: Government
of Canada, 2030 Water Resources Group, Australian Aid, European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Council of Mining
and Metals (ICMM)
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create opportunity where
it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries
rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential
role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org