Chairmen's Summary

Non-Ferrous Consultative Forum on Sustainable Development

Porto, Portugal

November 12-13, 2001


The member countries of the three international non-ferrous metals study groups - the International Copper Study Group , the International Lead and Zinc Study Group and the International Nickel Study Group - convened the second meeting of the Non-Ferrous Metals Consultative Forum on Sustainable Development in Porto (Portugal), November 12-13 2001. The Forum was opened by Prof. Eduardo Oliveira Fernandes, Secretary of State for the Economy, Portugal. The meeting hosted by the Government of Portugal at the Le Meridien Hotel was co-chaired by Alec Estlander, Division Director, Finnish Environment Institute, Finland, and Gerry Miles, Assistant Director Non-Ferrous Metals, Department of Trade and Industry, United Kingdom. Some 75 delegates from 21 countries attended, including 7 representatives from environment, social and other non-governmental organisations as well as those from industry, industry associations and governmental organizations such as the European Commission, the Common Fund for Commodities and UNCTAD. A list of Forum delegates is attached.

The Forum was convened to discuss progress made in each of the three Working Groups since the Brussels meeting and chart a path forward. The Production Working Group, the Product Stewardship Working Group and the Science, Research and Development Working Group were established with a mandate to bring together existing work, share information, identify gaps and to rapidly initiate activities identified by the Forum for future action. Over 100 participants from governments, industry, industry associations, non-governmental organizations, academia and intergovernmental organisations are collaborating in the work of the three Groups.

In addition to the individual tasks identified for action, the Working Groups collectively prepared an overall "vision" for the contribution non-ferrous metals make to sustainable development. This vision statement provides a useful check-list to assess progress and help to set priorities for the future.

The co-chairs from each of the three Working Groups presented their results and ideas for seeking opportunities to move the work forward and to broaden participation e.g.

Production Group

The Group will continue its work on Sustainable Development (SD) drivers and best practice in Community Engagement, developing case studies for presentation to and consideration by a broader forum.

Science, Research and Development Group

Recognising that considerable work is already underway on life cycle analysis and risk assessment, the Group will concentrate its efforts on adding value to the existing work underway globally on these topics.

Product Stewardship Group

The Group will move forward in a timely manner with a group of industry associations/companies/NGOs to pilot a product stewardship scheme based on the Principles and Criteria it has developed. The Forum encouraged the Group to share its experience in the coming months with other institutions particularly the MMSD/ICMM, OECD and World Bank to avoid duplication.

The work programme for each of three Working Groups is detailed in Annex A. Outputs from each of the Groups and background papers presented at the meeting are available on the Forum's web site at .

The Forum recommended that the joint Study Group Recycling Conference (planned for 2003) should address policy issues concentrating on the needs of developing countries and economies in transition.

The Forum accepted that linkage between the three Working Groups needs to be strengthened together with broader participation in each. Each Working Group has a role to play in this but the Working Group co-chairs will take responsibility for co-ordinating their activities.

The Forum recognised that it is essential to raise the profile of its activities and to work with other institutions as outlined in its strategic directions discussion paper, refined at the meeting to better reflect how this could be achieved. In addition, acknowledging the forthcoming World Summit on SD in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Forum recommended that member countries, unless they preferred a different approach, should engage their PrepCom representatives, with a view to having the importance of minerals and metals recognised in the final Summit communiqué. Other stakeholders were encouraged to seek this same outcome through the channels open to them.

Recognising that several opportunities to enhance the work of the Forum will present themselves in the coming months, the Forum directed the Working Groups to implement their work programmes, to meet regularly on a monthly basis, and to report progress to a meeting of the Forum on the 8/9 April 2002 at a venue to be decided.

The co-chairs noted the continued strong commitment of the Forum participants to work collectively to achieve tangible results. Considerable progress has been made already through the entirely voluntary efforts of this global group of stakeholders.

Alec Estlander

Division Director

Finnish Environment Institute

Pollution Prevention Division

PO Box 140, FIN-00251



Gerry Miles

Assistant Director

Metals Directorate

Department of Trade & Industry

151 Buckingham Palace Road

London SW1W 9SS

United Kingdom

5 December, 2001

- Annex A. -


SD Driver Analysis

  • Continue to add to database; focus on industry viewpoints/input;
  • Continue to develop criteria for evaluating effectiveness of sustainable development initiatives;
  • Develop specific case studies on selected initiatives; seek participation of people directly involved.

Community Engagement

  • Expand the list of initiatives;
  • Evaluate successful mechanisms for involving the stakeholders in the decision making process and develop case studies;
  • Broaden Participation;
  • Invite individuals directly involved in these case studies to discuss their experiences/lessons learned in a broader forum;
  • Broader forum to include other government departments not involved to date i.e. environment, resources, health, finance and other international agencies (overseas development agencies, etc) and NGO's covering geographical and developed/developing considerations;
  • The broader Forum to define the lessons learned and criteria for effective SD drivers and best practice in community engagement;
  • Bring in financing and financial services community (Debt & Equity);
  • Use Forum to address initiation of integrated decision making/regulation and voluntary actions;
  • Publish findings.



  • The Joint Study Group Recycling Conference should cover non technical issues i.e. social, policy and institutional concentrating on policy issues affecting recycling and the needs of developing countries and economies in transition;
  • A small taskforce, comprising the Study Groups Secretariats in consultation with the appropriate bodies and the assistance of experts available within the Forum e.g. commodity associations, NGOs and intergovernmental organizations, will organize this conference;
  • It was noted that organizations such as World Bank would be more interested in financing support for enabling policies and capacity building rather than hard technology transfer;
  • UNCTAD offered to support the conference.

Product Stewardship Scheme

  • Approval of cascading from vision to principles to criteria was accepted as a useful systematic approach;
  • The basic principles put forward gained general support;
  • Key characteristics of any product stewardship scheme were emphasized i.e. voluntary, allow for progressive adoption, flexible and responsive to different circumstances;
  • Strong encouragement that the outlines developed here by the working group should be shared with other institutions particularly MMSD/ICMM, OECD, World Bank etc with a view to avoiding duplication and bringing more clarity to the process;
  • A small delegation representative of the Forum should meet with ICMM ideally before the end of 2001 with a view to being able to present a fuller picture of progress on product stewardship to the Global Mining Initiative Toronto conference in May 2002;
  • Identify a group of industry associations/companies keen to move forward and examine some of the issues further by trialing a scheme using a multi stakeholder process. Pilot scheme need not embrace every aspect of one metal but could cover a defined subset;
  • The group should take every opportunity it can to discuss the principles and criteria that are being developed in all available fora whether they be intra-governmental, intergovernmental, industry or NGO led;
  • A case study paper on experience with existing product stewardship activities should be circulated more broadly;
  • The group should continue to resolve issues of scope, product use indicators and data recognizing there was a trade off between the intellectual robustness of a scheme and data availability;
  • A timetable should be set.


Stock-take of Sustainable Development Science Activities

  • Define user groups and their needs;
  • Determine how best their resources can be used;
  • Make user-friendly and plan for ongoing update;
  • Integrate further/link with appropriate existing databases:-

- The UN System

- Databases set up by individual sectors.

Risk Assessment

  • Forum recognizes the need for sound scientific risk assessments in policy making;
  • Continue dialogue to develop recommendations for metal risk assessments;
  • Work in partnership with other risk assessment policy/technical groups to develop the risk assessment process for metals;
  • Stock-take of existing policy frameworks and procedures, seeking better ways of applying these to metals, including improved stakeholder dialogue.

Life Cycle Analysis

  • Compile lessons learned from ongoing initiatives for metals;
  • Derive do's and don'ts from evaluation of best practice for metals;
  • Participate actively in ongoing metals specific initiatives in other fora;
  • Identify gaps for data and methodologies and strategies to address them;
  • Identify linkages to supplement tools related to SD;
  • Determine resources available to take this work forward;
  • Recognise LCA does not cover social and economic considerations

Science Network

  • Increase awareness of the Science Network;
  • Expand the content, coverage and uptake of the Network;
  • Identify how this resource can be best used; define intended user groups; provide mechanism for user feedback;
  • Use the Forum web site at to host the Network.

Maximise Impact of Science Group Activities

  • Recognise the Group has limited resource and that there is considerable work underway in the numerous fora in the life cycle analysis and risk assessment areas, the Group should concentrate on inputting their metal-specific expertise and substantive work undertaken to date to generate greater leverage from their overall work;
  • Linkages between Science, Product Stewardship and Production Working Group must be explicitly addressed;
  • Sharpen the profile of the Science Group through an agreed priority list i.e. do the most important things first;
  • Identify various actors and their role in taking NFMSD forward;
  • Need to clarify resources available;
  • Maintain focus on policy aspects; this is the unique strength of the Forum.

International Copper Study Group International Lead and Zinc Study Group International Nickel Study Group