ASM-PACE Global Solutions Study

Global Solutions StudyThe aim of this report is to summarize the scope and scale of ASM in protected areas and critical ecosystems worldwide, describe its known effects, document and study attempted solutions, and offer an initial set of recommendations. While this report provides background on some of the current issues in the ASM sector, it does not seek to provide a comprehensive overview of ASM around the world. Instead, this report focuses exclusively on ASM occurring in and around protected areas and critical ecosystems.

This report is issued as a part of the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining in Protected Areas and Critical Ecosystems (ASM-PACE) Programme. A joint initiative by the international conservation organization WWF and specialist development consultancy firm Estelle Levin Ltd, ASM-PACE seeks to identify workable, sustainable solutions that constructively navigate the conservation and development trade-off presented by ASM in protected areas and critical ecosystems.

Key findings
  • This report is issued as a part of the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining in Protected Areas and Critical Ecosystems (ASM-PACE) Programme. A joint initiative by the international conservation organization WWF and specialist development consultancy firm Estelle Levin Ltd, ASM-PACE seeks to identify workable, sustainable solutions that constructively navigate the conservation and development trade-off presented by ASM in protected areas and critical ecosystems.
  • Affected sites include at least seven natural World Heritage Sites.
  • ASM is taking place in at least 12 WWF Priority Landscapes.
  • Minerals mined artisanally in or adjacent to protected areas or critical ecosystems include: gold, silver, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, quartz, aquamarine, tourmaline, amethyst, emerald, morganite, rose quartz, copper, phosphates, coal, iron ore, cassiterite (tin), wolfram (tungsten), coltan (columbiumtantalum) and other metallic minerals, gypsum, salt, limestone, marble, stone aggregate, clay and sand.
  • ASM is impacting a wide range of critical ecosystems including: arctic landscapes (Greenland), tropical rainforests (Brazil and Gabon, among many others) and coral reefs (Philippines).

On a global scale, ASM of gold is the biggest “problem” in terms of negative environmental impacts. However, other minerals have significant localized impacts within specific ecoregions or countries: e.g. tin, tantalum and tungsten in the DRC; coloured gemstones in Madagascar; diamonds in West Africa.

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