Armenia Joins IGF focusing on Sustainable Development of Mining Sector

Armenia Joins IGF focusing on Sustainable Development of Mining Sector

The Government of the Republic of Armenia, through its Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, expressed its commitment to good governance of the mining sector by joining the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF).

“We are pleased to welcome Armenia as the IGF’s 75th member,” said Greg Radford, Director, IGF. “Every nation that joins the forum brings a unique perspective and adds depth to the dialogue. We look forward to Armenia’s participation and welcome their efforts to leverage mining for sustainable development.”

Mining contributes significantly to Armenia’s economy, contributing approximately 4.4 % towards the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) (Statistical Committee of the Republic of Armenia, 2018) and the share of the metal mining sector in the country’s total exports is up to 28% (RA EITI Report 2016 – 2017). In the mining sector, the overwhelming majority of workers are employed in rural parts of the country, making the sector an important source of jobs and services in rural regions, both of which are valuable elsewhere in the country and transferable to neighboring countries as well.

“We find the Forum very useful for intergovernmental dialogue, exchange of experiences and knowledge for making better decisions in our country.” said Suren Papikyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of the Republic of Armenia.

Deputy Minister Lilia Shushanyan, who is coordinating the mining sector in Armenia and initiated the IGF membership process, noted that Armenia is on the threshold of designing its first Mining Strategy. The main goal of this strategy is to ensure a stronger link between the country’s efforts on sustainable development, achieving its national development priorities and supporting the fulfillment of the SDG targets through its mining operations. Ms. Shushanyan stated that Armenia should continuously study best practices on various environmental and social sectoral issues and try to implement them for the sake of Armenian people and economy. “It is a high time to join and reap the fruits from professional and intergovernmental forums like IGF that was established with sustainable development as a core vision.”

Like many countries, Armenia is looking to heighten the environmental performance of its mining sector, set precise principles for social responsibilities and community engagement and have a transparent and efficient system of permitting, legislation, fiscal requirements and enforcement for the companies to operate.