UNFC is Key to Sustainable Development in India
With 2.4 per cent of the world’s habitable land and 17 per cent of the world’s population, India must adopt and develop best practices in its extractive activities, if it is to meet urgent needs for sustainable economic development.
A key outcome of the “National Conference on Sustainable Mining and the UNFC – Challenges and Opportunities in India”, held in New Delhi, 29-30 October, was an accelerated action agenda to enhance governance of the mining sector, including the active use of the United Nations Framework for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources 2009 (UNFC) for improved decision support.
Participants recommended the formation of a high-level committee comprising all stakeholders across the governance space, including a national UNFC working group, to assess the roles and responsibilities of key government bodies in the mining life cycle from exploration to closure. This Committee will define and agree upon milestones, deliverables, and be properly resourced.
David MacDonald, BP and Chairman, UNECE Expert Group on Resource Classification, the body responsible for the development of the UNFC, observed that “the unique features of the UNFC as a global standard accommodating all extractive activities – minerals and fossil energy, including petroleum and uranium – is gaining importance, as demonstrated by India embracing it. I am encouraged to see UNFC grow in acceptance for the preparation and disclosure of resources.”
The event pointed at the importance of the initiative taken to implement a mining tenement system that is informed by a sustainable development framework for the Indian mining sector. This is expected to substantially enhance investments in the sector and the UNFC will be accounting for its effects in supplying critical commodities.
Michael Stanley, Lead Mining Specialist, World Bank, stated: “The World Bank is keen to see India moving forward on this critical agenda and is advocating a comprehensive process of engaging stakeholders broadly from the policy makers to the operational level.”
Attended by over 230 experts, the Conference was organized by the Government of India’s Ministry of Mines and Ministry of Coal in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI), with the support of the World Bank.
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Note to editors
Operating under ECOSOC Decision 2004/233, UNECE’s global work on the UNFC is carried out by the Expert Group on Resource Classification, whose key focus is the further development and global promotion and implementation of the UNFC.
The UNFC, which is generic, intuitive and user-friendly, is the only modern classification system in the world to address the minerals, petroleum and uranium sectors using a single set of definitions and terminology. Its application is now being broadened to encompass renewable energy resources. The UNFC is an umbrella classification system which is fully aligned with the key commodity-specific systems in place worldwide for minerals – the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO) International Reporting Template – and for petroleum, the Petroleum Resource Management System (PRMS). Approved by the Board of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) in March 2007, the PRMS was developed by an international group of reserves evaluation experts led by SPE and co-sponsored by the World Petroleum Council (WPC), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE), and was subsequently endorsed by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG).
The UNFC is designed to meet the needs of four principal stakeholders: (i) analysts of international energy and mineral resources; (ii) Governments – to manage their resources accordingly; (iii) industry – to provide data and information necessary to deploy technology, management and finance in order to serve the host countries, shareholders and stakeholders; and (iv) the financial community – to provide the information necessary to allocate capital appropriately so reducing costs. A strong code, offering simplicity without sacrificing completeness or flexibility, the UNFC paves the way for improved global communications which will aid stability and security of supplies, governed by fewer and more widely understood rules and guidelines. The efficiencies to be gained through its use are substantial.