Building on from the 2003 Dialogue, the overarching aims of the 2004-2008 IUCN-ICMM Dialogue were:

  • To improve the performance of mining industries in the area of biodiversity conservation, with a focus on reducing the negative impacts of the industry’s operations and enhancing the industry’s positive contribution to biodiversity
  • To raise mutual awareness and understanding between the conservation community and the mining industry, so that both can contribute to improved outcomes for conservation and development in areas where they interact.

While mining and biodiversity were the key focus, the Dialogue was also cognizant of the debate around the related issues of restoration of (legacy) mine sites, prior informed consent and the role of host communities.

IUCN also established a Working Group on Extractive Industries and Biodiversity (WGEIB) to explore common issues within the conservation community, and establish a means of working together towards a common goal. The WGEIB provided advice to the IUCN Secretariat on the IUCN-ICMM Dialogue.

Activities and outcomes
The 2004-2008 work programme, and associated activities and outcomes, entailed:

1. Producing and testing Good Practice Guidance in the areas of biodiversity assessment and management

2. Exploring and evaluating more strategic, integrated and participatory approaches to land use planning and management as a tool for achieving balanced development and conservation outcomes

  • IUCN and ICMM contributed to the UNESCO Landscape Level Planning Initiative, which aims “to promote, by means of research, advocacy and the development of models, examples and tools, the wider application of effective landscape level planning, in keeping with the principles of sustainable development.”

3. Participation and support from mining industries for a process to further strengthen and apply the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories System as a credible global standard

4. Providing a platform to discuss the related issues of: restoration of legacy sites; prior informed consent; and effective involvement of indigenous peoples and local communities in making conservation- and development-related decisions affecting them

Dialogue evaluation
Progress of the 2004-2008 IUCN-ICMM Dialogue was assessed in regular meetings between IUCN and ICMM held at least twice a year.

An independent review carried out by The Partnering Initiative of the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) in 2009 concluded that:

1. The Dialogue has made an important contribution to advancing the prospects for improved biodiversity conservation by enabling discussion between the mining industry and conservation community.

2. The Dialogue has run its course and achieved what was possible within the current organizational arrangements. A new design and structure is now required to encourage further progress on improving performance of the mining industry in biodiversity conservation.

3. The Dialogue needs to be reorganized and reoriented, if it is to make a measurable contribution to improvement of biodiversity conservation.

Consensus from participants at a joint meeting held in November 2010 was that the IUCN-ICMM relationship offered significant advantages above bilateral relationships between individual IUCN Members and ICMM Members and that there is justification in continuing the relationship.