Development of National Action Plans (NAPs) for artisanal and small scale gold mining (ASGM) is a requirement under the Minamata Convention on Mercury for each Party that determines that ASGM and processing in its territory is more than insignificant (Article 7). Although each country’s NAP process will be unique, Annex C of the Minamata Convention provides a list of elements that must be included.
With funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNEP is supporting countries in the development of their NAPs by providing technical assistance and guidance in mercury-free technologies, formalization, baseline assessments, and other topics.
NAP projects around the world
Guidance and tools to develop a NAP
Guidance on developping the national overview of the ASGM sector
The development of a NAP requires a good understanding of the ASGM sector, to ensure effective strategies and to measure progress in implementation. This calls first for collection of data from ASGM sites in the field, as well as subsequent management and analysis of such data.
UNEP, in collaboration with partners, has created a series of tools to assist with the development of the national overview of the ASGM sector and including data collection, management and analysis:
Guidance on improving technical aspects of artisanal and small-scale gold mining
According to the Minamata Convention, each National Action Plan on artisanal and small-scale gold mining must include actions to eliminate four “worst” practices (Annex C).
UNEP has developed a video presenting these “worst” practices and introducing better and best practices to reduce and eliminate the use of mercury in ASGM, as well as an online interactive guide on existing mercury-free practices, providing simple graphs, decision trees and illustrative success stories.
Guidance for setting formalization strategy
Formalization—the process of integrating ASGM into the formal economy, society, and regulatory system—is a critical step to address the challenges of the sector and support its development. The “Socio-econmic research methodology” and the “Formalization handbook” provide solid knowledge and gudiance to develop a formalization strategy under the NAP.
Guidance for managing mercury trade under NAP
The guide provides an overview of the current state of knowledge on mercury supply, demand and trade. Furthermore, it aims to familiarize the reader with the provisions on mercury trade under the Minamata Convention. Finally, it suggests practical steps to understand mercury trade at the national level and recommends approaches to developing the National Action Plan strategy to manage the mercury trade in ASGM.
Lessons learned from the development of NAPs and other related documents
In addition to developing tools and information materials, UNEP supports countries through the entire project duration of the NAPs, including through:
||Consultations and country-specific assistance
||Technical peer review of the NAP
||Regional workshop and capacity building
Wheel of Knowledge
Database and search tool that helps locate other information and guidance materials intended to build national capacity and provide examples of actions in the context of the National Action Plans thematic areas.