Technical and Socio-economic Profiles of Global Mercury Project Sites: Project Summary
The Global Mercury Project (GMP) is located in communities and mining areas within six participating countries – Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Sudan, Brazil, Indonesia and Lao PDR. Project sites were selected based on the importance of artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) in these regions and the proximity of communities1 to international waters that may be impacted by ASM, particularly with respect to pollution generated from the misuse of mercury. Although the project sites differ somewhat in terms of population, geography, cultural context, mining practices and mining history, they share a critical similarity – ASM represents an essential source of livelihood.
This chapter summarizes the results of commissioned socio-economic assessments and reports by the Assistants to the Country Focal Points conducted in each of the mining communities which will directly benefit from Global Mercury Project (GMP) activities. In addition to collecting baseline information on community demographics, ethnicity, economic activities, and quality of social services and infrastructure, among other socioeconomic data, the socio-economic profiles sought to characterize the significance of ASM in these regions, with special emphasis on perceptions concerning mining practices, particularly in relation to mercury use. These evaluations further attempted to capture the gender dimension of ASM in these regions, thereby providing a basis to effectively address gender barriers through the GMP. Reports by the Assistants to the Country Focal Points compiled detailed information on mining practices and gold production in these communities and provided a basis for a preliminary assessment of anticipated environmental and human health impacts, as summarized herein.