27 June 2013

The University of Queensland’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) is contributing to the global sustainable development agenda after joining the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

CSRM Strategy and Mineral Policy Deputy Director Dr Daniel Franks said the centre’s membership of the global network presented an exciting opportunity to advance sustainable development in the mining and energy sectors.

“The network, commissioned by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, is designed to address the sustainable development challenges of ending poverty, increasing social inclusion and sustaining the planet,” Dr Daniel Franks said.

“CSRM is a leading research centre committed to improving social and environmental performance in the resources sector globally.

“Mining must deliver improvements in peoples’ lives without sacrificing the environment, and by joining this network we join a global body with the leverage to implement key and necessary reforms.”

SDSN Executive Director Guido Schmidt-Traub said the world’s best expertise had to be mobilised to meet the profound challenges of sustainable development.

“CSRM brings tremendous experience in a broad range of areas, so we are delighted to work with the centre and The University of Queensland,” Mr Schmidt-Traub said.

The SDSN aims to strengthen the relationship between technical knowledge and the translation of this knowledge into policy-making. This collaborative approach will allow the SDSN to address all aspects of the interconnected economic, social and environmental challenges confronting the world.

This month the SDSN delivered an Action Agenda for Sustainable Development report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

The report provides recommendations for the post-2015 development agenda and is now open for consultation.

The SDSN will assemble position papers drawn from its 12 thematic groups, to be submitted to the Leadership Council Summit in November.

These groups of experts collaborate to identify and highlight challenges and best-practice solutions and provide technical support to the United Nations High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Dr Franks has been invited to join the Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources Thematic Group of the SDSN, and is helping draft its position paper.

The paper will focus on harnessing natural resource wealth for transformative economic and social improvement in developing nations.

The thematic group is chaired by Oxford Professor Paul Collier and Antonio Pedro, Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

CSRM will look for further opportunities to use the reach of the SDSN to engage global research partnerships and sustainable development pilot projects.

Dr Franks said there was a renewed sense of what may be possible by engaging in global partnerships to solve local and regional challenges.

“By using the convening power of the Solutions Network, The University of Queensland will be part of implementing innovations in natural resource governance that can led to real and tangible improvements in human development and livelihoods” Dr Franks said.

Media: Keziah Radke, 0466 825 866 or k.radke@uq.edu.au