Historically, the extraction of mineral reserves has always resulted in varying degrees of environmental resource degradation and social impacts, including displacement, all across the globe. The Indian mining sector has been facing severe criticism on several issues relating to its performance vis-à-vis sustainable development.
A High Level Committee which was set up under the Chairmanship of Shri Anwarul Hoda, Member, planning commission in the year 2005, to review the National Mineral Policy recommended that apart from introducing best practices in implementation of environment management, there was also a need to take into account the global trends in sustainable developments. The High Level Committee specifically studied the impact of mineral development with the need to develop principles in mining, best practices, and reporting standards which may be measured objectively.
The committee recommended development of an SDF specially tailored to Indian context taking into account the work done and being done in International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM and International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The SDF was to comprise principles, reporting initiatives and good practice guidelines.
ERM India Pvt. Ltd. was commissioned by Ministry of Mines to develop a Sustainable Development Framework for the Mining Sector (Non Coal, Non Fuel) in India. The development of the SDF followed through on the commitment of the committee.