Keywords: small-scale mining, gold mining, artisanal mining, environment, environmental pollution, human health, health risks, GMP, global mercury project, policy, regulation, technology implementation, adaptive management, politics, logistics, poverty
Appraising the Global Mercury Project: an adaptive management approach to combating mercury pollution in small-scale gold mining
This paper appraises the initiatives of the Global Mercury Project (GMP); a project designed to minimise the impacts of mercury use in the artisanal and small-scale gold-mining (ASM) sector. The environmental and health impacts of mercury use at ASM sites have local, national and global implications that need to be reconciled with the benefits of poverty reduction and economic opportunity. The GMP's health awareness initiatives and technology demonstration campaigns were successful in reducing mercury exposure in pilot sites. Challenges encountered were political, logistical, and poverty-related. Lessons learned are presented to provide guidance for the next phase of the GMP.