Showing posts from March, 2016

International Water Day

This year's UN World Water Day focuses attention on the close relationship between water and jobs.  This is particularly true for the  Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector where, for more than 15 million workers,  water plays an integral part in processing operations, but also has important linkages to environmental and human health.

Artisanal mining and the SDGs

The September fanfare of agreeing to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is over. It’s 2016, and the clock has started ticking. A starting point to realising the SDGs requires an understanding of where and how our work intersects with them. The mining sector - large, medium, small and artisanal – is no exception. How the artisanal sector in particular unfolds and develops in the next 15 years will affect our collective ability to reach the SDGs.  While developments in Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) can be linked to all of the SDGs, 8 of the most pertinent ones are discussed below, reflecting on what this means for the sector and for the Artisanal Gold Council (AGC).

Zero Mercury Working Group Press Release

Press release

Despite progress, global mercury agreement undermined by uncontrolled production and trade
Groups ask governments to fast track ratification, early implementation of Minamata Treaty
Amman, Jordan, 9 March 2016—Commitments toward stronger global mercury controls are being hampered by illegal, unreported and unregulated mercury production and trade, an international NGO coalition revealed today on the eve of a UN mercury treaty meeting in Jordan.

The Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG), of which the AGC is a member, said that global efforts to reduce emissions of mercury may be derailed if gaps in mercury production and trade controls are not addressed before the treaty enters into force.

“Trafficking in mercury is not like selling potato chips,” said Michael Bender, ZMWG International Coordinator. “There are well known consequences when mercury gets haphazardly produced, traded and subsequently released into the biosphere.”

Mercury is a potent persistent neurotoxin that bioaccum…

In celebration of women artisanal gold miners

Women’s contribution and priorities in artisanal and small scale gold mining are often overlooked. This is in part due to the informal nature of the sector, existing inequitable gender norms and in part because mining continues to be understood in many places as a sector of the economy requiring stereotypical male characteristics. Yet women form an important part of the work force in the sector, playing a wide variety of roles. As in many sectors, women earn less for their work when compared with men.
The artisanal gold mining sector offers the opportunity to narrow existing gender gaps, but also runs the risk of widening them, if this is not a priority. Globally, the world economic forum estimates that it will take 117 years to achieve gender parity.  AGC is committed to accelerating the closing of the gender gap in ASGM. Gender equity is not a by-product of our work, but rather an explicit target. Women and men are both integral for the development of a responsible artisanal gold …