Our natural resources are under threat because of the way we produce, consume, and extract the things we need for our daily lives: things like energy, food, water, metals, and minerals.
We are putting undue strain on the planet. But it’s not too late to turn things around.
We know what needs to be done—and we know we need to do it together.
By conducting ground-breaking freshwater research at the IISD Experimental Lakes Area, advising mineral-rich governments on responsible mining practices, and supporting sustainable agriculture, IISD works to conserve and protect the world’s most valuable assets.
The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development
The IGF supports nations committed to leveraging mining for sustainable development to ensure negative impacts are limited and financial benefits are shared.
IISD Experimental Lakes Area
IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) is an exceptional natural laboratory comprised of 58 small lakes and their watersheds set aside for scientific research.
Ending Hunger Sustainably
Ceres2030 is a novel partnership between academia, civil society, and economists, bringing together three institutions who share a common vision: a world without hunger, where small-scale producers enjoy greater agricultural incomes and productivity, in a way that supports sustainable food systems.
Human activity—from pollutants to climate change—is threatening the health of our planet's precious freshwater resources. That's where we come in.
We work to optimize the benefits of mining and ensure the financial benefits are shared by supporting the development of laws and policies.
Food and Agriculture
Agriculture is on the front lines of nearly all urgent global challenges, from hunger to climate change to rising inequality.
Tax Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) in Mining
Equipping resource-rich developing country governments with the knowledge, skills, and tools to optimize the financial benefits from mining.
New Tech, New Deal
Assessing how the mining sector can grapple with the disruptions and technological innovations that are reshaping the industry.
Toward More Equitable and Sustainable Trade in Food and Agriculture
IISD’s work on trade in food and farm goods seeks to improve the extent to which trade policy supports sustainable development outcomes and expand the space for informed discussion among a wider set of policy actors.
Model Agreement for Responsible Contract Farming
Offering a simple and practical legal tool for buyers and producers to improve their business relations and to help make responsible agricultural investment a reality.
Financial Technologies and the Environment
Exploring how financial technologies could help solve pressing environmental challenges.
AquaHacking Lake Winnipeg
We are challenging young innovators to team up and develop new and innovative solutions to tackle urgent freshwater issues.
Source to Sea: Integrating the water agenda in 2023
2023 could prove to be a definitive year for facilitating an integrative perspective on water issues, from fresh water to the marine environment.
Global Market Report: Banana prices and sustainability
This report explores market trends in the banana industry and how standards and other supply chain actors can build producers' resilience to sustainability challenges.
Ouvrir la voie à l’investissement responsable (in French)
La Suisse s’engage en faveur de l’application des Principes pour un investissement responsable dans l’agriculture et les systèmes alimentaires approuvés en 2014 par le Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale des Nations Unies. Le chemin reste toutefois long jusqu’à une mise en œuvre complète.
Gender and Local Content in the Mining Sector: Training for WIMOWA
A summary report about a capacity-building workshop for West African governments on gender equality and mining, focused on local content policies.
Lithium reserves: could new discoveries reverse global shortage?
Lithium is a key component of EV batteries. A global supply shortage may be reversed into a surplus for 2023, Bank of America predicts, as two major reserves of the metal were recently discovered. The first one, possibly the world's second largest, was found in Iran, creating a set of geopolitical implications. The second one was found in India, but mining the resource comes at a major environmental cost. Meanwhile, South America also plans to expand its lithium mining and EV batteries manufacturing capabilities.
Extreme poverty worldwide could be eradicated by 2050, report says
A new paper is predicting that extreme poverty worldwide could end by 2050. The paper, titled Scenarios for Future Global Growth to 2050, is from the Centre for Global Development. It projects there could be fewer people living in poverty by 2050 than ever in history.
Voluntary sustainability standards needed to improve South Asian cotton sector – report
A study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) says that South Asia's cotton sector should accelerate its adoption of voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) to improve cotton sustainability.
How Does Mercury Get in Fish?
Nearly all seafood contains mercury, a naturally occurring metal buried deep in the Earth’s crust. At room temperature, elemental mercury is quite dangerous; just a few drops can contaminate an entire room. When heated, the element becomes an odorless, colorless gas that can travel great distances before being absorbed into bodies of water. It can also enter lakes, rivers, and oceans when human activities' waste or runoff flows into the surrounding biomes.
Other related topics
In a circular economy, products are designed, produced, and used to reduce waste and regenerate natural systems.
Infrastructure is the backbone of sustainable development and a powerful driver of economic activity.
Standards and Value Chains
Voluntary sustainability standards contribute to biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and gender equality.
Technology and Innovation
When it comes to achieving a sustainable future for all, we cannot merely rely on tried-and-tested formulas. We need to think outside the box and get innovative.