The Philippine government convened stakeholders at Eastwood Richmonde Hotel in Quezon City on April 11, 2019 to launch officially the project in the country.
The Global Opportunities for Long-term Development in Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Programme (GEF GOLD) consists of eight child projects, one of which has a global coverage and works to sustain knowledge and improve replication potential. The rest are individual projects that address key issues linked to continued mercury use and provide opportunities for communities involved in eight countries.
The GEF GOLD Mongolia-Philippines Child Project: Contribution toward the Elimination of Mercury in the Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) Sector: From Miners to Refiners was approved for implementation by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in August 2018 under the Sixth Cycle of the Global Environment Facility (GEF-6). The project intends to contribute to the elimination of mercury in ASGM by applying a value-chain approach from miners to refiners by accomplishing the following project components:
- Enhancing the environment of formalization of ASGM in both countries;
- Facilitating miners’ access to national institutions, i.e. the central bank, and introducing financing schemes that will allow miners to adopt and subsequently invest in mercury-free technologies in a sustainable manner and access international gold markets more directly;
- Upscaling mercury-free technologies for the ASGM sector; and
- Disseminating information to ensure replication of the project activities in the participating countries and contributing to the global knowledge management platform established under the global child of GEF GOLD programme.
Atty. Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, DENR Undersecretary for Climate Change Service and Mining Concerns and GEF Operational Focal Point for the Philippines, encouraged the participants to support the implementation of the project. She urged the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in particular to lead the sustainability and mainstreaming efforts to ensure that the project outputs reach, inform, and benefit the concerned stakeholders.
OIC-Director Lourdes Wagan of the Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Service led the inception workshop that followed the launching ceremony.
The Artisanal Gold Council (AGC) (AGC) serves as the overall executing agency of the programme, while the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)UN Environment) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) function as the implementing partners. (FASPS/ John Paul Ortega)