11. Global and regional support initiatives
Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) (2000 – 2002)
The MMSD project was a research project examining how the mining and minerals sector could contribute to sustainable development globally. A two-year programme implemented by the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) between 2000 and 2002, MMSD commissioned a number of country specific research reports examining ASM as well as well as a comprehensive global report on the sector.
The Yaoundé Vision Statement (2002)
In 2002 the UN organised a seminal ASM event in Yaoundé, Cameroon that brought together senior policy makers from 17 of the largest ASM countries in Africa, as well as international development partners, and individual ASM miners. Participants adopted the Yaoundé Vision Statement which detailed a series of policy objectives to deliver sustainable reductions in poverty and improved livelihoods in African ASM communities by 2015. Whilst widely acknowledged as a seminal policy document that has mobilised practitioners and politicians globally, the degree to which its proclamation and any subsequent action has led to improvements for miners and communities remains contested.
Communities and Small-scale Mining (CASM) (2002 – 2010)
The World Bank funded Communities and Small-scale Mining (CASM) initiative aimed to ‘reduce poverty by supporting integrated sustainable development of communities affected by or involved in artisanal and small-scale mining in developing countries’. It focused mainly on improving the coordination and networking of stakeholders, by hosting an annual conference and other roundtable events, developing and maintaining a website acting as a repository for CASM and useful ASM documents, facilitating small projects, and policy input by building networks and learning to influence policy dialogues. Having come to an end in 2010, CASM has led to a number of spin-off initiatives, and there is now an online repository to collate all CASM documents.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) began in 2005 at a meeting of representatives from the United Nations, national governments, US and UK international development aid agencies, NGOs and the diamond industry. DDI parallels and complements the regulatory instruments of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), but seeks to fill the gap in addressing the issues of poverty and exploitation, by working with communities to implement a range of development project. DDI has also developed the Maendeleo Diamond Standards to support artisanal diamond miners and their communities reach responsible supply chains by certifying production as conflict-free and adherence to safe and responsible mining and working practices.
U.N. Minamata Convention on Mercury (2013 – ongoing)
The 2013, UN Minamata Convention on Mercury run by the United Nations Environmental Programme is a global treaty that bans new mercury mines and requires the phase-out of existing ones, the phase-out or reduction of mercury use in a number of products and processes, controls emissions to air and releases to land and water, and requires governments to develop a National Action Plan to regulate, reduce, and where possible eliminate, the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining activities.
Global Dialogue for Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (2014 – ongoing)
The International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) aims to bring a range of ASM stakeholders together in order to collaborate, share knowledge on, and promote the inclusive rights-based governance of ASM. Consists of global and local dialogues, with workshops having been held in London, Ghana, and Tanzania.
Neglected Development Minerals Programme (2015 – ongoing)
An initiative by the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, financed by the European Union and United Nations Development Programme that aims to support the development and promotion of industrial minerals, construction materials, dimension and semi-precious stones, termed Neglected Development Minerals, through knowledge sharing, educational workshops, and advocacy work.
The World Bank and Pact, an international NGO, are building on prototype online platform focused on ASM in Burundi, to scale-up the platform into a global resource and database on ASM. Though yet to be fully developed, the aim is to create an online platform that includes shared indicators, data mapping and visualisation, a gateway to all data sources, and a collective initiative to accurately monitor, evaluate, analyse and publish critical ASM information.