Delve 2020 State of the ASM Sector Report to focus on Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent Work

Room view during the 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF)
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Reporting Services

Adapted excerpt from the IGF Bulletin, 9th October 2019 originally published by IISD Reporting Services.

The 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) opened today at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on the theme of “Mining in a Changing Climate.” Delegates discussed the role of innovation, data, standards and certification in promoting sustainability and resilience of the mining sector. Government officials and mining company representatives presented examples of “climate-smart” initiatives, and shared examples of strategies to boost the use of renewable energy in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). They also discussed steps to strengthen environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA), and to formalize the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector.

During the ASM Strategy Marketplace, the the Delve database project which is collating data and promoting their use to illuminate the contribution of ASM to the mining sector was introduced. Recent research from Delve suggests there are more than 39 million ASM workers globally. Meanwhile the project is moving to align the ASM agenda to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and its current focus is on SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth. IGF participants active in the areas of promoting decent work and eliminating child labor from mines were then invited to contribute to the Delve 2020 annual report.

Following on, delegates took part in a round of “marketplace presentations” from Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Honduras, Mali and Nigeria. Participants discussed: whether and how ASM is licensed and regulated, how to monitor ASM and take census of miners, problems in dealing with unorganized individual miners, efforts to form mining cooperatives, ASM in frontier zones with adjoining countries, efforts to control and reduce mercury emissions from gold ASM, and issues involving conflicting levels of jurisdictional control.