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Why Regulating and formalizing the ASGM sector will help keep the Amazon and its people safer in the short term.

The Cleaner Gold Network strategy integrates recommendations outlined in the UN Sustainability Goals (SDGs). The SDGs recognize that the artisanal and small-scale mining sector is important for rural livelihoods and socio-economic development. When implemented with careful consideration of the interconnected realities, the formalization of the ASM sector can help individuals and communities attain increased economic security, decrease pollution, and aim for more peaceful exchanges between potentially competing groups.

Informal ASM Image
Formal ASM
de Haan, Jorden, Dales, Kirsten, and McQuilken, James. 2020. Mapping Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining to the Sustainable Development Goals. Newark DE: University of Delaware (Minerals, Materials and Society program in partnership with Pact). Available online via http://www.pactworld.org and https://sites.udel.edu/ceoe-mms/

The Minamata Convention/Legislation for Cleanly Sourced Gold and the Protection of the Amazon

The Amazon Aid Foundation and the Cleaner Gold Network support the advancement of legislation worldwide through issues education to promote the regulation of ASGM and the protection of the Amazon, including the Minamata Convention, an UN global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Artisanal and small scale gold mining(ASGM), which in most cases uses mercury in the process, is found in 80 countries, including every country in the Amazon. The ASGM sector is the world’s single largest source of man-made mercury emissions, releasing as much as 1,000 tonnes of mercury (almost 40 per cent of the global total) into the atmosphere every year.

Mercury is one of the most toxic and long lasting elements on earth.

Amazon Aid and the Cleaner Gold Network stand in solidarity with the Minamata Convention and other legislation that bans new mercury mines; phases out of existing ones; phases down mercury use in products and processes; controls measures on emissions to land and water as well as the regulation of the informal sector of ASGM.

Amazon Aid also supports the Convention as it addresses interim storage of mercury and its disposal, as well as health issues related to toxic mercury exposure. To date 128 Countries have signed the Treaty with 123 countries ratifying with full Congressional approval.

Amazon Aid will use a multi-tiered systemic approach, that includes engaging stakeholders through issues education with the River of Gold project and The Cleaner Gold Network to advocate for all governments to sign and ratify the Minamata Convention and other legislation created that promotes a responsible and cleanly sourced supply chain and the protection of the Amazon. We will work with UNEP, other UN and international agencies, NGOs, influencers, and the public in general to engage with this effort. Our award-winning media and films have already been used to support the Convention, reaching leaders and upstanders in Amazonia countries, including Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname to specifically push for the ratification of this critical treaty to help eradicate the use of mercury worldwide.

Dumping mercury into the atmosphere without any regard for humans and the environment is unacceptable and must stop. Be part of the Change!