Millions of Ghanaians derive their livelihoods from the mining sector every year, with a majority working in the Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining sector (ASGM). However, ASGM practices have led to widespread environmental degradation, health and security implications for communities largely as a result of mercury use in gold processing. In response, the RECLAIMS-ASGM Ghana (or Ghana Responsive Engagement and Collective Learning Approaches to Inform Mercury Substitution for ASGM) program, led by Fund for Peace (FFP) in partnership with the George Grant University of Mines & Technology (UMaT) and West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), is working to bring the Government of Ghana into compliance with the Minamata Convention by reducing mercury use in gold processing. Thus, the negative environmental impacts of ASGM will be reduced, by building the capacity of the Government and ASGM practitioners through combining technical, educational, and inclusive dialogue approaches.
RECLAIMS is transforming selected ASGM sites in Ghana to become pilot ‘Centers of Excellence’ providing technical capacity building and equipment to pursue the mercury-free processing alternative of direct smelting. These sites will be used to share best practices across the sector and inform the broader Government ASGM reform agenda. RECLAIMS works with the broader ecosystem in which ASGM operates through community sensitization workshops and media awareness activities in the three regions. RECLAIMS is raising support for more safe and sustainable ASGM practices by encouraging mercury alternatives and increasing knowledge about economic resilience, transparency and alternate livelihoods.
Operationally, RECLAIMS is providing a roadmap for scalability by the Government and its partners as part of broader ASGM policy/strategic reform by facilitating multi-stakeholder engagements and increasing inter-agency coordination. As the Government has developed a new plan to address many of these systemic issues through the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP), RECLAIMS is working closely with the MMIP lead agency, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, to bolster coordination by facilitating national dialogues that bring together Government actors, large scale mining companies, civil society, media, and donors to coordinate key ASGM sector issues, share best practices and identify synergies. This includes supporting the Government in the development and implementation of National Action Plan requirements under the Minamata Convention.
C/M | 202.05