UNDP support CSOs to promote sustainable small-scale mining

Accra- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has awarded grants to five civil society organisations worth 200,000 dollars towards the elimination of mercury in gold mining and promotion of sustainable artisanal and small-scale mining.

The organisations are Tuning Point Advocacy, Moaduri Women Development Projects, Ghana Institute of Sustainable Development, Zintang Healers Association and Firm Health Ghana Foundation.

Turning Point Advocacy is to promote transparency and the rule of law in the artisanal and small-scale mining sector, while Moaduri Women Development Projects is to create awareness and deepen understanding on the dangers of mercury among small scale miners and communities affected by mining.

The Ghana Institute of Sustainable Development is to develop stakeholders’ capacity to create networks and formalise relationships among small scale miners, communities and relevant state institutions and reclaimed degraded landscapes in mining districts.

The Zintang Healers Association is to promote community small scale mining and build the capacity of the artisanal miners in gold processing without mercury while Firm Health Ghana Foundation aims is to build the capacity of the artisanal small-scale mining on safe use of mercury and mercury-free processes.

Mr Louis Kuupen, the UNDP Assistant Director, said their outfit through the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP), was piloting a zero-mercury programme to create awareness on the harmful effects of its wrong use.

He said the project was also to facilitate artisanal and small-scale miners training in alternative gold processing technologies that reduce mercury use, emissions and releases and support community remediation of polluted and degraded mining lands.

Mr Kuupen said the five organisations were expected to implement those projects within 18 months under the Global Environment Facility long-term development of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector.

He said some of the interventions under the grant-making activities are capacity development, formalization of miners’ associations, awareness creation, technology transfer, decontamination of polluted sites and improving access to finance and markets for the miners.

He said those interventions were critical because the country ratified the Minamata Convention on March 3, 2017 to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and release of mercury compounds.

Dr King David Amoah, the Chairman of the National Steering Committee of GEF-SGP, said over the past four years, the programme had supported 33 community-base organisations living around biological hotspots, international water ways, migratory corridors and degraded landscapes within the coastal and northern savanna ecosystems.

He said the utilisation of the grants had impacted positively on the conservation of environmental resources in the country and built the capacities of 150 community members to mainstream biodiversity conservation in natural resource management.

Dr Amoah said the fund was advertised in October 2018 and by the close of December, over 65 organisations submitted proposals of which five were selected to promote sustainable small-scale mining in the country.

Dr Naa Dede Tagoe, the Chief Executive Officer of Tuning Point Advocacy, on behalf of the grantees, thanked UNDP for the support and assured it of their commitment to use the money judiciously to benefit society.

Source: Ghana News Agency