DENR to align guidelines for miners with UN goals | Inquirer News

DENR to align guidelines for miners with UN goals

/ 09:41 AM November 22, 2023

DENR to align guidelines for miners with UN goals


MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has announced that it is set to revise the social development guidelines of mining firms in the country to align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

SDGs are 17 interlinked goals adopted by all United Nations (UN) Member States in 2015 as a global call to address poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental protection, peace, and justice.


In a statement on Tuesday, DENR Undersecretary for Integrated Environmental Science Carlos Primo David underscored the need for miners’ Social Development and Management Programs (SDMP) to meet the goals set by the UN.


“The whole world has agreed to adopt the SDG in 2015. Therefore, the SDMP—its whole framework, should be aligned with the SDG. Hopefully, the revised SDMP for next year would align its programs towards achieving SDG goals, given the newly proposed guidelines” David said.

The SDMP is a comprehensive five-year plan aimed at improving the living standards of mining operations’ hosts and neighboring communities.

SDMP activities include livelihood programs, educational support, health and medical assistance, public infrastructure, and socio-cultural and religious support, the environment bureau outlined.

It also aims to “to boost the economic contributions of mineral resources while safeguarding the environment, supporting affected communities, and developing local scientific and technical resources,” DENR said.

But while there are some SDMP-accredited activities that align with some SDGs, David stressed that there are still SDGs that the current social development policies do not fulfill.

This includes the need to sustain improved living standards even after mining operations cease, an alternative livelihood for communities, and a reduction of stakeholders’ dependence on mining income.


David likewise pointed out that SDG Goals 1 (No Poverty) and 2 (Zero Hunger) are most important, saying companies should focus on reducing maternal and neonatal mortality by providing healthcare access, education, and resources for pregnant women.

The environment bureau, however, clarified it will not completely overhaul the existing SDMP, but will only be revised to include additional provisions based on the results of stakeholder consultations.

A consultation with community relations officers of mining companies was held on November 16, DENR said.

DENR explained that miners and permit holders are mandated to allocate 1.5 percent of their operating expenses to the SDMP, 75 percent of which shall be spent on community-development programs while the rest are for improving mining technology and education.

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The SDMP is mandated under Republic Act No. 7942, or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.


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TAGS: DENR, Mining, SDGs

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