A new project on reducing health hazards of artisanal and small-scale gold mining was launched on 5 December in Washington DC. The project will work towards the objectives of the Minamata Convention and will strive to formalize artisanal and small-scale gold and reduce the use of mercury in the sector to protect the health of up to 15 million miners worldwide - See more at: http://www.unep.org/stories/chemicalsandwaste/small-scale-gold-mining.asp and http://www.thegef.org/news/gold-shines-opportunity-artisanal-miners-reduce-and-eliminate-mercury-use
To help artisanal gold miners eliminate the use of mercury in gold mining, and reduce harmful risks to their health and the environment the GEF has recently approved the Global Opportunities for Long-term Development (GOLD) in the Artisanal Small Gold Mining Sector program.
Through the GOLD program, the GEF will provide funds to support artisanal and small-scale enterprises through the creation of policies and market incentives, as well as connecting them to supply chains and markets which use less or no mercury in the extraction of gold. The program will build partnerships with the private sector.
Four implementing agencies will manage the program, including UN Environment (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and Conservation International to implement projects in Burkina Faso, Colombia, Guyana, Indonesia, Kenya, Peru, Mongolia and the Philippines. The ultimate aim is to ensure the wellbeing of workers and their families whilst improving their livelihoods.