IUCN's Collaboration Agreement with Rio Tinto

14 July 2010 | News story

The Collaboration Agreement, signed 12 July, 2010, between the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Rio Tinto London Limited (Rio Tinto) commits IUCN and Rio Tinto to focus their collaborative projects on innovative and ground-breaking biodiversity conservation activities and to ensure transparency between and within both Parties.

The key features of the IUCN – Rio Tinto Agreement are:

OBJECTIVES
• Build a business-focused relationship that enables Rio Tinto to improve its environmental management and delivery of conservation outcomes;
• Increase awareness and understanding throughout IUCN of the conservation and business challenges facing the resources sector;
• Strengthen Rio Tinto and IUCN capacities for market-based approaches to environmental management and conservation;
• Jointly contribute to sector-wide improvements in the mining and closely-related sectors; and
• Gain recognition for both organizations as leaders in their respective fields and committed to environmental management and delivering sustainable development outcomes.

DELIVERABLES
• IUCN will project manage and implement the Programme;
• IUCN will administer and coordinate the Programme on a day-to-day basis and, jointly with Rio Tinto, its implementation;
• IUCN’s administration functions and duties include: jointly carry out, with Rio Tinto, all acts necessary for the purposes of the Programme including compliance with all laws and contractual obligations; jointly with Rio Tinto, develop the annual Programme plan and budget; jointly with Rio Tinto, coordinate the development and delivery of the Communications Strategy; maintain accurate details of all monies received relating to the Programme and all Programme Expenses; and jointly with Rio Tinto, prepare comprehensive repots, meeting papers, and any other documents reasonably required by the Relationship Management Committee;
• IUCN will be responsible for the preparation of the annual Accounts for the Programme;
• Rio Tinto will provide the payment of the Financial Contribution for the collaboration Programme; and
• Rio Tinto will provide project contributions including: the provision of assistance to IUCN in the project management of work undertaken pursuant to this Agreement; the provision of all information and documents reasonably required by IUCN for the proper performance of its duties in accordance with this Agreement; the provision of advice and expertise relating to biodiversity and conservation management in the context of the mining industry; jointly develop and deliver the Communications Strategy with IUCN; jointly with IUCN, effect the implementation of the Programme; and take all reasonable action for the performance of the joint functions and duties of this Agreement.

IUCN LOCAL PARTNERS
• IUCN, in consultation with Rio Tinto, shall be permitted to utilize local partners and collaborators on any project undertaken pursuant to this Agreement in order to assist IUCN with the performance of its duties thereunder.

RELATIONSHIP MANAGERS AND RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
• Each Party will appoint a Relationship Manager responsible for the day-to-day management of the Relationship;
• The Parties shall establish a Relationship Management Committee comprised of six (6) members, three (3) for each Party, with each member having one (1) vote on any decisions made;
• The functions and duties of the Relationship Management Committee include: approving the Budget and Programme Plan for each Programme Year; ensure that both Parties contribute their respective Deliverables; ensure that the Objectives and Programme Activities of the collaborative relationship remain consistent with each Party’s organizational and strategic aims; agree on any major changes or additions to the Objectives, Programme Activities, and/or Budget; receive and consider reports and other documents from the Relationship Managers relating to the implementation and management of the Programme Activities, to consider any risks, issues, or new opportunities raised by the Parties, and to provide guidance, direction, and recommendations to the Relationship Managers with respect to the same; agree to undertake activities on behalf of the Relationship as may be required from time to time to ensure the proper and effective functioning of the Relationship, the Programme, and the Objectives; and receive and consider any recommendations arising out of a Review carried out for the Relationship.

REVIEW
• Both Parties may agree upon an independent person to be appointed to review and evaluate the performance of the Relationship and/or the Programme Activities undertaken in accordance with the Programme;
• A review may take place once each Programme year; and
• Recommendations for any variations to the Relationship or the Programme Activities arising out of the Review will be considered at a meeting of the Relationship Management Committee to determine how the recommendations will be pursued.

COMMUNICATIONS
• The Parties will develop, agree upon, and maintain a joint Communications Strategy, including approval procedures and communication contacts, with an annual communications plan developed by the Parties’ Relationship Managers and approved by the Relationship Management Committee;
• Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to limit the freedom of IUCN to maintain an objective view of, or to comment in any way on, Rio Tinto and the Rio Tinto Group’s policies and/or actions, nor to limit the freedom of Rio Tinto to maintain an objective view of, or to comment in any way on, IUCN’s policies and/or actions.

TERMINATION
• This Agreement ends following a period of three (3) Programme Years, from the Effective Date, unless terminated earlier;
• Either Party may terminate this Agreement without cause by giving six months notice in writing to the other Party; and
• If a Party fails to perform any of its material obligations under this Agreement, and fails to remedy that failure within thirty (30) days of receiving a notice from the other Party requiring it to do so, the other Party may terminate this Agreement with immediate effect by notice in writing to the Party in default.

RELATIONSHIP OF THE PARTIES
• Under this Agreement the relationship of the Parties is not one of partnership, joint venture, or agency and nothing in this Agreement is to be treated as constituting or shall be construed to constitute a Party as the partner, agent, joint venturer, employee, or legal representative of the other Party for any purpose.

JOINT STATEMENT
• A number of projects have been identified, with the initial focus for the three-year agreement to include: verification of Rio Tinto’s biodiversity Net Positive Impact (NPI) commitment (develop, test, and implement an independent verification process to assess Rio Tinto’s compliance against its NPI target); environmental economics capacity and natural capital projects (identify and quantify the biodiversity and ecosystem service values in key regions where Rio Tinto operates, under business-as-usual and conservation scenarios); and general collaboration (benefit from each organization’s specialist skill sets, experience, and networks by working collaboratively or providing input into each other’s projects).

The Spanish version of the above will be available in due course.

A number of reactions have been received in follow up to the signing of the collaborative agreement with Rio Tinto by IUCN. We publish them on this page, together with IUCN Director General’s response (also available in Spanish and French).

IUCN intends to be fully transparent and will continue to post responses on this page. An area for comments has been established below. IUCN welcomes the views of its constituents.