Nicolas Maennling -2024 – Making Certification Schemes Relevant For Local Stakeholders


There has been a proliferation of standards and certification schemes in the mining sector in recent years. These have been primarily driven by investors and off-takers. The mine-level audit that compares how operations perform against the standard includes highly relevant information for stakeholders living in mining regions. However, local stakeholders are oftentimes not aware of the audits and results. In 2021 the GIZ-MinSus project and its partners established a working group composed of civil society representatives and academics to learn about these emerging standards that are relevant for the Andean region, and to discuss how the audit results could be used to improve local governance in mining regions. At the end of the process this recommendations document was published. The project is currently piloting select recommendations in the Salar de Atacama and is assessing how the IRMA standard compares to the legal requirements of Chile and Peru. 

Based on these experiences, this session will provide insights into how standards and certification schemes can be made more relevant for local stakeholders and improve governance in mining regions. 


Nicolas Maennling leads the Regional Cooperation Programme for the Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources in the Andean Region (MinSus) for GIZ. The project of the German Development Cooperation aims to promote responsible mining practices in the Andean region. It works with governments, civil society, academia and the private sector to implement socio-environmental standards along mineral supply chains, increase community participation in decision making, encourage the transfer of technologies that reduce the mining footprint and support the efficient allocation of revenues from the sector in mining regions.  

Nicolas is a development economist with experience in academia, the public and private sectors. He has published, taught, and led advisory projects in more than 20 resource rich countries. Before joining GIZ, he lived and worked in Mozambique and Timor-Leste advising the respective Governments on resource management prior a five-year stint at Columbia University’s Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment in New York, where he continues to be a fellow.