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Mining and Green Growth in the EECCA Region

image of Mining and Green Growth in the EECCA Region

For most countries in the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) region, mining is an important economic sector that contributes to employment and public revenue. Despite mining’s potential to cause long-term negative environmental impacts, governments in the region have a vital role to play in supporting better environmental performance in the sector and ensuring the industry can be a progressive part of a greener economy. This report examines the environmental impacts of mining in the EECCA and provides policy makers with guidance to reconcile environmental and competitiveness objectives in the mining sector.

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Executive summary

The shift to a greener global economy will continue to demand significant quantities of natural resources, including copper, lithium and cobalt. However, the mining sector is a major potential source of immediate and long-term environmental damage. In the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) region, the extraction of mineral resources remains an important contributor to export earnings, employment and public revenue at the national and sub-national level.The International Council of Mines and Metals’ 2016 Mining Contribution Index measures the significance of the mining sector’s contribution to national economies. Three EECCA countries (Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) rank among the top ten globally. Two others (Ukraine and Armenia) are in the top 20. In 2015, in the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan and Armenia mineral rents constituted 7.5%, 4.6% and 3.2% of gross domestic product respectively. In the same year, ores and metal exports contributed 44.4%, 15.6% and 12% of total merchandise exports in Armenia, Georgia and Kazakhstan. Governments have a vital role to play in supporting better environmental performance in the mining sector. They can ensure that industry is a progressive partner in promoting green economic growth and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

English

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