What Does the Toolkit Do?

The information in this toolkit covers the main social, environmental, and economic challenges to evaluate when establishing a responsible sourcing strategy for gold, especially from artisanal and small-scale gold mining operations.

  • Shows essential pathways for additional research; 
  • Conveys background information to bring you up-to-date; 
  • Provides an introduction to supply chain due diligence;
  • Offers potential sources of responsible gold; 
  • Shares how to become part of the community addressing these challenges, 
  • As well as list additional resources.

Responsible gold sourcing is not black and white – that would be an oversimplification of the realities, and as a result you have several steps a jewelry business can take in order to fulfill its role in addressing the problem.

Since large-scale gold mining presents its own unique challenges, it is addressed in a special section, with the main focus of the toolkit being on artisanal and small-scale gold mining.

There are more trees in the Amazon than stars in the Milky Way.

The Tookit’s Purpose

  • Raise awareness 

  • Encourage deep supply chain investigation

  • Build confidence in global gold supply chains

  • Create a shift in priority from eliminating risk to doing good

  • Secure business validity in the future

  • Generate support for the professionalization of the artisanal and small-scale gold sector

  • Improve the lives of artisanal and small-scale gold miners, their families, their communities

  • Recognize the true environmental impact of mining for jewelry materials

  • Encourage the thinking that some areas should be off-limits to mining 

  • Support those in the jewelry industry to continuously improve

  • Signal to consumers that they can support a responsible gold supply chain

Of the indigenous groups that were known to exist in 1900, one-third of these groups are now extinct.

The Tookit’s Audience

The primary audience of this document includes members of the jewelry industry involved in gold sourcing, or vetting of gold suppliers – jewelers, manufacturers, retailers, designers, and designer-makers. It is not intended to suggest actions for refiners.

20% of the world’s freshwater flows through the Amazon to the sea.

Data Gap

The World Bank and Pact released a report on the State of the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Sector in 2019, which emphasized significant gaps in the available data for the sector. The report highlighted the difficulties in effectively addressing the issues faced by the sector without better access to complete, accurate, and reliable data citing that many of the current resources are subject to outdated statistics. Data recycling and failing to capture current data can impede the advancement of a responsible jewelry industry as decisions are determined based on outdated, unsubstantiated, or incomplete data. 

The need for greater transparency in order to effectively address the sector’s challenges is tied to this gap in data. Taking steps towards supply chain due diligence and disclosure of chain of custody can help practitioners and policymakers capture rich data sets and support informed decision making on these critical issues. 

Every year the burning of trees worldwide releases approximately 20% of all global carbon emissions.


Authors and Reviewers recognize a United States and United Kingdom bias. Even though efforts were guided by international standards, research, and publications -any work in this space would benefit from first-hand, on-the-ground accounts of the conditions, impacts, and needs of artisanal miners, associated communities, local and national governments, non-governmental associations, etc. In line with the identified “Data Gap” this document and future projects should do more to ensure the voices of artisanal miners are present.

Trees in the Amazon contain nearly 11 years of global carbon emissions.


Christina T. Miller

Sustainable Jewelry Consulting

Christina works to build a better jewelry industry through designing tailored approaches to responsible sourcing, supply chain transparency, sustainability practices, and authentic communication for jewelry businesses. We aim to transform the jewelry industry into a sector that empowers economic, social, and environmental value for all involved in the trade through our bold vision, education, and hands-on guidance.

Amazon Aid Foundation

Amazon Aid Foundation educates and activates global citizens to protect the Amazon through art, science, multimedia and film. ‎Our vision is to preserve the Amazon rainforest for the health of the planet and for future generations to enjoy.

How Do We Do It?


AAF harnesses the power of film and multimedia to educate global citizens about the importance of the Amazon and the implications of its destruction while promoting working solutions to protect it. Our recent documentary River of Gold, and accompanying social impact campaign and curriculum illustrates the global effects of climate change, water, destruction of habitat and species, and human rights issues due to deforestation and unregulated gold mining.‎ 

Learn more about River of Gold here.


AAF’s award-winning projects activates audiences worldwide to engage in sustainable methods to protect the Amazon. Together with scientists, artists, NGOs, governments and global citizens, AAF forms unified alliances and partnerships to raise awareness of the importance of the Amazon and promote working solutions for keeping the trees standing, reforest and demand responsibly sourced products. 


AAF harnesses the power of film and social impact campaigns to build coalitions and support a network of stakeholders in the Amazon. These coalitions promote legislation that protects and revitalizes the Amazon, and engage in advocacy efforts for human rights, sustainable livelihoods, clean water, protection of habitat, and regulation of illicit and unregulated gold mining‎ and mercury usage. ‎


About the “River of Gold” Project

Amazon Aid Foundation’s River of Gold Project educates audiences globally about the implications caused by deforestation and the burning of the Amazon and the world’s forests through illicit and unregulated artisanal and small scale gold mining (ASGM). Unregulated 

artisanal and small scale gold mining not only destroys some of the world’s most valuable forests, but poisons them with mercury which is used in the gold mining process. ASGM is the leading driver of mercury poisoning in the world. Amazon Aid’s award winning film “River of Gold”, social impact campaign and educational initiatives engage global citizens from children to leaders of governments to not only ask where their gold comes from but to question what has the most value – the unregulated mining of gold or the Amazon Rainforest?

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