CEGEMI, UNITAR, UNEP, GEF & ACE
From 29th to 30th January 2020, ACE (Congo Environment Agency) organized a validation workshop on the National Action Plan (NAP) to reduce/eliminate mercury use in Artisanal and Small-Scale mining in Kinshasa. This plan was developed by and based on research conducted by CEGEMI (lead researcher Bossissi Nkuba) between 2017 and 2019. The validation was done by representatives from the Ministries of environement, mining and health, NGOs, miners’ cooperatives representatives, researchers, press, etc.
Indeed, the process has included an inception workshop in Kinshasa (Febr 2017), a training of the research team and creation of the Stakeholders Advisory Group in Bukavu (July 2017), field research in top 5 DRC’s ASGM provinces (Dec 2017 to June 2018), training for development of the NAP in Eswatini (May 2019), development of the NAP (June to Nov 2019) and finally the above validation (Jan 2020).
NAP includes different strategies to reduce mercury use so as to mitigate its effect on human health as well as improve the general income and well being of miners. These strategies focus on 8 areas : (1) Banning the worst mining practices that expose communities and ecosystems to mercury, (2) Formalizing the ASGM sector, (3) Introducing better mining practices, (4) Managing mercury and gold trade, (5) Improving public health in mining areas, (6) Involving stakeholders in the plan implementation, (7) Sensitizing miners and different people who interact with either ASGM or mercury and (8) Protecting vulnerable groups (mainly women and children) involved in ASGM.