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Curbing mercury use

/ 11:19 PM March 17, 2012

Artisanal mining remains illegal in many areas where sites operate and miners tend to migrate to places where better gold resources are found. There is very little communication between the sector, society and government authorities. Authorities can put policies in place to reduce the  impact of mercury on artisanal and small-scale mining by:

  • Reducing mercury supply
  • Implementing technological controls
  • Reducing quantities of goods that result
  • in mercury emission
  • Creating mercury-emission taxes
  • Using cap-and-trade approaches
  • Controlling subsidies and restrictions on the sale and disposal of mercury
  • Improving communication on fish consumption, occupational risks and product labeling.

However, the most sustainable solution is to educate small-scale miners to formalize and legalize their activities. This is the first step required to transform this squad of unprivileged miners into citizens, creating a structure for them to form organized small-scale industries. In fact, this can be a long-term solution for the migration of people from rural areas to urban centers.

Unep Global Mercury project


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