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The Project

The project objective is to improve the management of artisanal and small-scale gold mining in Suriname (ASGM) and promote uptake of environmentally responsible[1] mining technologies to reduce the negative effects on biodiversity, forests, water, and local communities, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The strategy to achieve this objective is to set an enabling environment at the institutional level, which will effectively support on-the-ground actions to improve the management of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector. The project will disseminate environmentally responsible mining technologies, practices and methods through a learning-by-doing approach. Monitoring of the project's social and environmental impacts on local communities will enable the sharing of new knowledge and field evidence at the national level and with neighbouring countries facing similar issues.

 

[1] Environmentally responsible methods/practices consider and limit potential impacts on the environment.

Project Strategy

The project's strategy is based on the four following pillars (see also Theory of Change diagram):

1

Setting an enabling environment:

The project will first support systemic interventions focused on developing/updating regulations, policies and guidelines to facilitate a more efficient management and monitoring of ASM operations. This will be combined with capacity building at the institutional level to enable better management of negative environmental impacts from gold mining. The project will support efforts to increase sustainable funding opportunities to address the negative social and environmental impacts of gold mining, and for miners to adopt environmentally-responsible mining practices. The project will also support the mandate of certain key institutions for better environmental management, such as the Environmental Planning and Information Office.

3

Multi-stakeholder engagement:

As a third pillar, the project will support engagement from all concerned stakeholders through its work in support of policy strengthening and institutional capacity building. The project will create multi-stakeholder local advisory committees (LAC) for the Mining Training and Extension Centers, which will bring together government institutions, civil society organizations, community and village groups, and ASGM groups and associations. The MTECs and their LACs will serve as a platform for dialogue between different stakeholders, allowing all to voice their concerns and to define solutions jointly.

2

Implementing on-the-ground solutions through a learning-by-doing approach at demonstration sites and focusing on the whole mine life cycle

On-the-ground demonstrations will be implemented by the project through the establishment of Mining Training and Extension Centres (MTECs). Learning from past lessons in Suriname, the establishment of these MTECs represents a central strategy foreseen in this project. These would be operated by non-governmental organizations in pilot sites. The MTECs would act as one-stop centres where miners can access a suite of services that will function as incentives, such as for example: access to on-demand training and technical advice on environmentally responsible mining techniques, the ability to purchase or rent spare parts and maintenance services for ERM equipment at concessional prices, and improved access to social services (health, education, non-mining vocational training)[2]. The project will focus on demonstrating environmentally responsible technologies applicable to the whole mine life cycle, including improved exploration, extraction and decommissioning to reduce impacts on habitat, biodiversity and forests. The project will not support the creation of new mines that may require deforestation, therefore demonstration activities will mainly occur on alluvial sites that are being re-mined, as is commonly practiced in Suriname.

 

[2] These social and economic incentive services will be provided at the MTECs by project partners through cofinancing.

4

Identification of adequate and sustainable incentives:

This project is based on the premise that, in the absence of a comprehensive overhaul of the Surinamese economy and legal frameworks, preventing small-scale miners from conducting their main activity will not be feasible.  The project therefore focuses on the adoption of environmentally responsible mining practices, but also seeks to identify suitable incentives for the broader adoption and upscaling of these practices.  The project will also work at a pilot scale to put in place at least one other livelihood option besides mining, such as sustainable agriculture. While these activities will be insufficient to replace mining and will therefore not constitute “alternative livelihoods”, since this project alone cannot pretend to replace mining in the economic portfolio, they would nevertheless provide avenues for economic diversification, skills acquisition and increased incomes, potentially decreasing the urgency of new mining operations.

Project Strategy

The project's strategy is based on the four following pillars (see also Theory of Change diagram):

1

Setting an enabling environment:

The project will first support systemic interventions focused on developing/updating regulations, policies and guidelines to facilitate a more efficient management and monitoring of ASM operations. This will be combined with capacity building at the institutional level to enable better management of negative environmental impacts from gold mining. The project will support efforts to increase sustainable funding opportunities to address the negative social and environmental impacts of gold mining, and for miners to adopt environmentally-responsible mining practices. The project will also support the mandate of certain key institutions for better environmental management, such as the Environmental Planning and Information Office.

3

Multi-stakeholder engagement:

As a third pillar, the project will support engagement from all concerned stakeholders through its work in support of policy strengthening and institutional capacity building. The project will create multi-stakeholder local advisory committees (LAC) for the Mining Training and Extension Centers, which will bring together government institutions, civil society organizations, community and village groups, and ASGM groups and associations. The MTECs and their LACs will serve as a platform for dialogue between different stakeholders, allowing all to voice their concerns and to define solutions jointly.

2

Implementing on-the-ground solutions through a learning-by-doing approach at demonstration sites and focusing on the whole mine life cycle

On-the-ground demonstrations will be implemented by the project through the establishment of Mining Training and Extension Centres (MTECs). Learning from past lessons in Suriname, the establishment of these MTECs represents a central strategy foreseen in this project. These would be operated by non-governmental organizations in pilot sites. The MTECs would act as one-stop centres where miners can access a suite of services that will function as incentives, such as for example: access to on-demand training and technical advice on environmentally responsible mining techniques, the ability to purchase or rent spare parts and maintenance services for ERM equipment at concessional prices, and improved access to social services (health, education, non-mining vocational training)[2]. The project will focus on demonstrating environmentally responsible technologies applicable to the whole mine life cycle, including improved exploration, extraction and decommissioning to reduce impacts on habitat, biodiversity and forests. The project will not support the creation of new mines that may require deforestation, therefore demonstration activities will mainly occur on alluvial sites that are being re-mined, as is commonly practiced in Suriname.

 

[2] These social and economic incentive services will be provided at the MTECs by project partners through cofinancing.

4

Identification of adequate and sustainable incentives:

This project is based on the premise that, in the absence of a comprehensive overhaul of the Surinamese economy and legal frameworks, preventing small-scale miners from conducting their main activity will not be feasible.  The project therefore focuses on the adoption of environmentally responsible mining practices, but also seeks to identify suitable incentives for the broader adoption and upscaling of these practices.  The project will also work at a pilot scale to put in place at least one other livelihood option besides mining, such as sustainable agriculture. While these activities will be insufficient to replace mining and will therefore not constitute “alternative livelihoods”, since this project alone cannot pretend to replace mining in the economic portfolio, they would nevertheless provide avenues for economic diversification, skills acquisition and increased incomes, potentially decreasing the urgency of new mining operations.

Expected results

This project proposes to remove the barriers to the successful application of environmentally responsible gold mining techniques in artisanal small-scale mining to contribute to biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and reduction of land degradation.

The project will be delivered through four inter-related Outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Institutional capacity, inter-institutional coordination and availability of funding increased for improved management of ASGM
  • Outcome 2: Policy and planning framework for the management of the environmental impacts of ASGM mining strengthened
  • Outcome 3: Uptake of environmentally-responsible artisanal small- scale gold mining practices increased
  • Outcome 4: Knowledge availability and sharing increased at the national and regional scale on environmentally responsible ASGM
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