Insights from the planetGOLD 2024 Forum on ASGM and Minamata Convention National Action Plans

04 Jun 2024

On the second day ofplanetGOLD 2024 Global Forum on ASGM, the Secretariat participated in the "Minamata National Action Plans: Strategies to protect vulnerable people" session.

NAP session

Moderated by Richard Gutierrez, Minamata Convention Secretariat, and Malgorzata Stylo, UNEP, the speakers examined the link between countries National Action Plans (NAPs) for artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), with a special focus on strategies to prevent exposure of vulnerable populations – women, children, indigenous peoples, local communities and other disadvantaged groups – and the interventions under the planetGOLD country projects.

The development of NAPs  is a requirement under the Minamata Convention on Mercury for each Party that determines that ASGM and processing in its territory is more than insignificant. To date, 30 countries have prepared and presented their NAP to the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention. The NAP document paves a road for country-wide strategies to transform the ASGM into cleaner and more responsible sector.

In November 2023, the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-5) welcomed the importance of national action plans on artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in order to take steps to reduce, and where feasible eliminate, mercury in its mining and processing. The COP called on Parties to submit their final plans, and for those already submitted, to provide a review of the progress made. It also requested Parties to improve multilateral cooperative efforts to enforce national laws on international mercury trade.

COP-5 encouraged Parties to engage with indigenous peoples and local communities in decision-making processes, safeguarding traditional livelihoods while developing alternative, sustainable economic activities and promoting health-care services for those impacted by mercury from ASGM. The COP also called on Parties and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to make further implementation efforts in the context of biodiversity, land degradation, international waters and trade, and to continue to advance implementation of their NAPs.

The planetGOLD Global forum on ASGM is taking place from 3 to 5 June in Batangas, Philippines. Bringing together roughly 200 key partners and stakeholders from across the globe, this knowledge exchange forum, aims to spur action toward advancing a mercury-free, responsibly managed ASGM sector. Sessions are live-streamed and recorded for later on YouTube and on the planetGOLD website.

The planetGOLD programme, which is supported by the Global Environment Facility and present in 26 countries, is led by the UN Environment Programme and implemented in partnership with the UN Industrial Development Organization, UN Development Programme, and Conservation International. The programme supports countries in meeting their obligations under the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

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