Solidaridad, an international civil society organization (CSO) which works across 12 supply chains and through 10 regional offices on 5 continents has collaborated with ASM Africa-Network (ASMAN) as a project partner on Advocacy in Artisanal & Small Scale Mining (ASM) Best Practices & Certification.
ASMAN is a civil society organization (CSO) involved in the natural resource & environmental governance advocacy, which operates in addressing the concerns of ASM, with an extensive stakeholder engagement capability, and collaborating with partners around the world in furtherance of networking for the sustainable development of ASM.
A statement released by the Programme Manager Sustainable Gold of Solidaridad West Africa, Mr Wilbert Brentum, stresses that this project partnership will pave the way for Solidaridad to seed advocacy issues to ASMAN; and focus on their core mandate of Gold Producer Support Training Programmes & Voluntary Standards Certification.
Solidaridad has been working with small-scale mining communities globally since 2006 to improve best practices in mining (eg. improved health and safety conditions, responsible use of mercury and labour, formalization of mining operations, improved self-organization of producers for better integration in the value-chain and support for sustainable communities and livelihoods) and certification.
At a stakeholder engagement meeting with the Minerals Commission (MINCOM) recently, the Chief Executive Officer of MINCOM, Dr Tony Aubynn said Government supports positive initiates of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) to create awareness, livelihoods, community support and best practices in the ASM Industry. He continued that the Green Gold Label (GGL) Certification, an independent third party inspection body is championing ASM Best Practices, for which Solidaridad is a partner to Green Gold Label (GGL) Certification, thus making this Solidaridad/ASMAN project partnership functionality.
Dr. Tony Aubynn concluded that the practical experience of the leadership team of ASMAN positions them as a credible ASM Advocate, capable of drawing and attracting stakeholder-engagement to discuss all perspective ASM issues; for which good deeds Government is Eveready to support for the development of a responsible and sustainable small scale mining in Ghana.
Nii Adjetey-Kofi Mensah, Executive Director of ASMAN said the project partnership with Solidaridad West Africa started in 2014, when we jointly organized the successful Multi-Stakeholder Forum on the Development of Small Scale Mining, with the theme 'Boosting ASM in Ghana' at the British Council Hall, Accra. Nii Adjetey-Kofi continued that with support funding from Solidaridad West Africa, the organization and institutionalization of the Semi-Annual ASM Stakeholders Forum, bringing together all ASM value-chain Industry in line with the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act 2006 (Act 703) would commenced.
The maiden edition to kickstart the institunalization of the semi-annual small scale mining stakeholders' forum is planned for March, 2015.
Amongst the expected outcomes includes the establishment of a regular engagement platform for major stakeholders in the ASM value-chain Industry; and also serve as a driver for influencing policy and reforms with the aim of enhancing the sustainable development of ASM.
The activities of ASMAN surrounding these initiatives supported Government taking a consultative approach to the regulation of the ASM Sector in Ghana, with respect to the Africa Mining Vision.