Mining and protected areas

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World Heritage Sites are places identified by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for their outstanding cultural or natural value to humanity. At present, there are almost 200 sites listed for their natural value.

Human activity, which includes the activities of some extractive industries, continually threatens the protection and preservation of some of these sites. ICMM and its member companies in 2003 adopted an industry leading stance, committing to not explore or mine in World Heritage properties. A position that firmly recognises the significant and irreplaceable value of these sites to society. The position also ensures existing and future operations adjacent to World Heritage properties are not incompatible with the outstanding universal value for which they are listed.

More generally, the ICMM 10 Principles commits members to respect legally designated protected areas. And we work together with the world conservation union, IUCN, to strengthen systems for protected area categorisation.