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Removal of Barriers to the Introduction of Cleaner Artisanal Gold Mining and Extraction Technologies - GEF/UNDP/UNIDO

Summary

Environmental impacts resulting from the application of mercury in the processing of gold within the artisanal mining sector and their effects on International Waterbodies require concerted and coordinated global responses. The long-term objective of this project is to assist a pilot suite of developing countries located in several key transboundary river/lake basins in assessing the extent of pollution from current activities, introduce cleaner gold mining and extraction technology which minimize or eliminate mercury releases and develop capacity and regulatory mechanisms that will enable the sector to minimize negative environmental impacts. This will be accompanied by development of monitoring programs and in collaboration with participating Governments, development of policies and legislation that will lead to practical and implementable standards for artisanal gold mining. In order to ensure sustainability of the monitoring programs, the project will aim to build capacity of local institutions, e.g., local laboratories through training and material support so as to enable them carry out continuous monitoring beyond the project three-year term. The project will also aim to increase knowledge and awareness of miners, Government institutions and the public at large on the environmental impacts associated with the application of the current technology. This will be enhanced through introduction and demonstration of cleaner and efficient technology that apart from minimizing negative environmental impacts, will improve earnings, health and safety.