With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever it’s important to share insights and resources among the global community working on artisanal and small-scale gold mining—in order to help advance response efforts that can support and protect vulnerable ASGM communities around the world. Below we provide updates from planetGOLD programme staff about how the virus is affecting ASGM communities in their countries and their recommendations for ways to respond. We also highlight resources from other organizations and initiatives in the global ASM community that are monitoring the situation.
Con un total de 62,125 especies registradas y 91 ecosistemas acuáticos, costeros, marinos e insulares; Colombia se convierte en el epicentro de las celebraciones globales del 5 de junio, fecha del Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente que para este año gira en torno a la protección de la biodiversidad. La riqueza megadiversa del país no compite con su riqueza en oro. Ambos atributos de Colombia centran la atención en la necesidad de impulsar el desarrollo sostenible con la producción y consumo responsable de los recursos naturales.
Colombia, with the second-highest biodiversity in the world, has become the epicenter of global celebrations on World Environment Day today, which this year revolves around the protection of biodiversity. The country also finds itself ranked fourth in the world for mercury emissions, 94% of which are emitted by the small-scale mining sector. Read about the planetGOLD Colombia project's aim to eliminate and/or avert 20 tonnes of mercury from the environment.
As the top gold producer in Latin America, more than 250,000 artisanal miners and small-scale miners in Peru are deeply affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Although this labor force typically contributes up to 20% of the national gold production and has been in the process of being formalized, today it is very vulnerable. Thus, this pandemic makes evident the need for an inclusive policy that protects them and aims at transformating the sector.
Today as we observe International Day for Biological Diversity in the midst of a pandemic that has gravely impacted so many as well as the ecosystems on which we depend, the rallying cry to “Build Back Better” rings true for the ASGM sector, which has been disrupted by COVID-19 and, with the right support, has the potential to transition to more responsible and clean production methods that at the same time safeguard our planet`s biodiversity.
Staff with the planetGOLD project team in the Philippines report that as a result of the Enhanced Community Quarantine that has been imposed due to COVID-19, women in the small-scale mining town of Itogon are facing various livelihood and economic challenges, and there are indications that gender inequalities are now exacerbated. This article sheds light on the situation these women face, and recommends several responses to improve gender equality.