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Closer sector collaboration to build more resilient future

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World Coal,

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), Business Fights Poverty and The Partnering Initiative, in consultation with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Corporate Responsibility Initiative, today published the ‘Building Forward Better Framework’. The framework provides practical tools and resources for use by the mining industry and other sectors to help guide them through the initial stages of the pandemic and to lay the pathway for building forward to a more resilient future post COVID-19.

It has been developed with the aim of encouraging learning and thinking about mining’s collective role in supporting communities through the immediate and long-term phases of COVID-19. It is also a practical tool for mining companies and those companies in other sectors, to assess their own activities through the examples, case-studies and resources.

Three key areas for action are identified in the framework. These are as follows:

  • Lives (health and safety).
  • Livelihoods (jobs and income).
  • Learning (education and skills).

Through these lenses, companies can identify practical actions to take across their core business activities, community investment programs and policy engagement, that support community rebuilding and resilience.

The ‘Building Forward Better Framework’ was created collaboratively, using Business Fights Poverty and the Harvard Kennedy School’s existing Business COVID-19 Framework as its solid foundation. It incorporates ICMM’s practical knowledge and learnings from its members’ COVID-19 responses to specifically tailor the framework to the mining sector.

The publication of this framework hopes to foster and encourage closer collaboration and engagement beyond the mining sector to help drive real change. To reflect this, the framework will be freely available for all to use on the ICMM, Business Fights Poverty and The Partnering Initiative websites.

Dr Nicky Black, Director Social and Economic Development Programme, ICMM, said: “The mining industry’s response to the crisis reflects the unique relationship ICMM’s members have with their communities, due to the often remote locations in which they are situated, and the relationships that have been built between companies and community members over years of working together. What has become apparent through this response is that we are stronger together. Collaboration between different sectors, government, community and local stakeholders will be vital if we are to build forward towards a brighter future.”

“ICMM is delighted to have collaborated with Business Fights Poverty, The Partnering Initiative and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Corporate Responsibility Initiative to build on and tailor their excellent COVID-19 response framework for the mining sector. The result is, I believe, a practical action and learning tool for mining companies to use as they address each phase of the pandemic. My hope is that it also provides inspiration and encouragement for closer collaboration and engagement across sectors to both inform short-term recovery and response efforts, and longer-term community and economic resilience.”

Zahid Torres-Rahman, Co-Founder and CEO, Business Fights Poverty, commented: “COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, devastating impacts on the lives, livelihoods and learning of millions of people, particularly the most vulnerable. While efforts have rightly focused on mitigating the immediate impacts, we need to start thinking about efforts to recover and rebuild, because action taken now will have long-lasting effects on people's well-being and resilience.”

“This new framework developed with ICMM and The Partnering Initiative builds on the collective insights of our organisations to provide practical guidance and inspiration for both those within the mining sector and those in other sectors - such agriculture, technology, health and education - looking to partner with mining companies to collectively build an equitable and resilient future.”

Dave Prescott, Creative Director, The Partnering Initiative, added: “Effective collaboration is all about the creative combination of resources from diverse organisations towards a shared goal, underpinned by trust. COVID-19 has demonstrated that, where the mining industry has successfully built trust with others, it has a formidable array of resources at its disposal to contribute to the broader public good. Few other industries have the capacity, for example, to donate entire field hospitals.”

“Such actions underscore the industry’s potential to contribute to long-term strengthening of health, social and economic systems. Fully realising that potential takes courage, humility, and thinking differently about mining; the ‘Building Forward Better Framework’ aims to reflect where this way of working is already happening.”

Jane Nelson, Director of the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, said:` “As we continue to grapple with the health, humanitarian and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, mining companies are demonstrating their ability to partner with others to help protect people’s lives and their health and safety, support people’s livelihoods and economic resilience, and provide opportunities for people’s ongoing learning, training and skills development.” “The commitment of employees and longstanding partnerships with unions, host communities and governments have been essential in enabling the industry to respond in an agile and effective manner. These partnerships will be even more important as we work to build more inclusive and resilient local institutions, economies, and health and food systems for the future.”

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