Together with UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and ACE (Agence Congolaise de l’Environnement) CEGEMI led the establishment of the National Action Plan to reduce/eliminate mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining.
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 a validation workshop in Kinshasa (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.
Find background information on National Action Plans and health on the WHO website (here)