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The guidelines provide a framework to guide mining operations in production areas of forest reserves. Specifically, they provide uniform criteria to establish environmental constraints for all parties involved in operations within a Forest Reserve (1.2.1). They identify the aspects of ‘best practice’ mining and environmental management, and then set a framework within which to elaborate best practice principles on a case-by-case basis.
The Guidelines focus on Mining Practices and Environmental Management Practice throughout 6 phases of the life of a mine: exploration, pre-construction, construction, operation, closure, and post-closure (4.1-4.6 and 5.1-5.6).
The guidelines clarify that the majority of forest reserves are divided into conversion (areas which have been targeted for replanting), production (where timber extraction is permitted) and protection (untouchable) areas. They establish a 2% limit on exploration and mining in production areas of forest reserves. Only the actual mines themselves (mine pits or underground access) can be located within reserve areas and that all other mine support facilities need to be located outside the Forest Reserve boundary.