Change management is a complicated and difficult endeavour. But change we must as the ways things are now is just not good enough. To effectively implement Sustainable Resource Development will require changing how, and why, we do or don’t do many things. Engaging with, motivating and empowering society, not just the younger generations, to alter course towards a more sustainable future is a daunting task. Government-led initiatives, such as Canada’s Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, will not attain its intended aims without a thoughtful and dedicated implementation strategy. Top-down initiatives elaborated in ivory towers are likely to miss the mark. Initiatives seeking to listen to, and engage with youth, regarding their vision and aspirations will help guide the process in a more robust and implementable manner. This session will explore the challenges and opportunities policy makers and administrators face, and present some of the initiatives that are in place, or possibilities that are being contemplated, with the goal of identifying what steps could be taken, at this time and in the future, to help shift the dial towards a more sustainable and resilient world.
Sustainable resource development will not happen on its own. It will require committed and well-trained individuals, conversant with many subjects and with varied experience. Where will such individuals come from? Who will teach and train them? Who will be taught? Where will it take place, at school or at work? In person or remotely? What programmes can be developed to teach about sustainability in a way that will lead to action, not mere platitudes?
The resources sector faces a challenge onboarding the next generation. Across the world, companies have difficulties recruiting. At the same time, baby boomers are retiring taking with them a trove of very relevant knowledge. What is being done by industry, government, and educational institutions? Could young people play a role in helping shape the needed policies?
Closing the gap between finance and the reality on the ground has been a long-standing challenge. Multilateral institutions and lenders have been striving to deal with finance-centred issues, such as transparency and anti-corruption measures, often being unable to tackle externalities related to the environment or equitable matters. Increasingly, the financial sector has become proactive regarding environmental and societal goals, aligning with and invigorating those seeking to attain positive outcomes for the common good.
Most of our planet is covered by water, mainly the ocean. For far too long, humanity has taken the ocean for granted, risking in the process global well-being. This year’s UN Ocean Conference brought the world’s attention to the importance of the ocean as the world seeks to address deep-rooted problems which will require common shared solutions anchored in the SDGs. Those solutions relate matters such as protecting biodiversity, feeding the world and deep-sea mining to produce the metals needed for energy transition. Hopefully, a new chapter of global ocean action is starting, opening many research and sustainable development opportunities.
The institute, working with industry partners, focuses on developing urban/territorial projects and lessons that sit at the intersection of economic development and environmental stewardship
The natural resources sector is embracing a proactive approach to site rehabilitation and closure, at times bringing together biology, chemistry and earth sciences to address complex environmental issues. Legislative initiatives and societal pressures are prompting mining companies and governments to talk less and do more. Remediation projects being implemented today will not only cure problems from the past but will also advance solutions and processes that will assist other legacy projects as well as with the closure of new projects which may include re-purposing what may have been considered waste in the past. There are great examples from around the world such as the ERA’s Ranger Mine, implementing a closure path incorporating progressive rehabilitation, delivering a positive legacy, and Glencore’s Wonderfontein Mine, where a holistic approach to mine closure is being taken, repurposing remediated mine land and water to grow wheat.
June 1992 will be remembered as an important time in global efforts to protect the environment. Three landmark multilateral environmental agreements were established: the Convention on the Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. While Climate Change grabs most of the headlines, Desertification and Biodiversity cannot be ignored.
While the world debates the transition to green energy and sets its sights to Net Zero goals, the agricultural and forestry sectors continue to deliver food and other essential products even though in many parts of the world those sectors are under environmental and economic stress. Of course, agriculture and forestry are also often at odds with each other, something that we need to address. Other issues arise: Can we preserve and restore ecosystems while generating benefits for the environment and people? How can we improve practices or transition to better ones? What is the role of technical innovation in these areas?