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IGF Mining Policy Framework Assessment: Ecuador

Ecuador’s economy is dominated by natural resources, particularly oil, which accounted for approximately 11 per cent of the country’s GDP until a few years ago. However, recent financial problems within the country have led the Ecuadorian government to look for alternatives to maintain economic stability. One of these measures has been to promote investment in the formerly neglected mining industry.

Since 2015, the government has made important efforts to better manage the sector, including mitigating the impacts of extractives on the biologically rich country. The Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Resources has launched new policies for the development of the mining sector to establish conditions to attract investment from international large-scale mining (LSM) companies and to improve the management of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM).

The IGF conducted a Mining Policy Framework (MPF) Assessment at the request of the Ecuadorian government. It consisted of an extensive review of key domestic and international law and policies, meetings with stakeholders and a seven-day field visit to the country. The IGF MPF Assessment identified gaps related to post-mining transition and environmental management linked to the region’s new LSM sector. The IGF report recommends that the Ecuadorian government:

  • Conduct meaningful community consultations, particularly with Indigenous Peoples.
  • Integrate international best practices on environmental management into national standards and legislation.
  • Integrate specific guidelines on waste and water management into environmental impact studies.
  • Create a more robust database of the ASM sector and strengthen the formalization process.

Document currently only available in Spanish.