RCS Global’s collaboration with the Inter-Governmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) in developing the IGF Guidance for Governments on Managing Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) was a core piece of the agenda at the IGF’s 11th Annual General Meeting from October 27 to 29, 2015 in Geneva. We delivered a well-received workshop on the ASM Management Guidance, which was a key milestone in the further development of the Guidance into 2016.
This year’s AGM was attended by over 250 participants from 67 countries, as well as representatives from international organizations, industry associations and civil society organizations. At the meeting, delegates welcomed five new members to the IGF: France, Germany, the Netherlands, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Rwanda. This brings the total number of IGF member countries to 54.
Many of the IGF’s member countries face acute issues in ASM. The IGF’s ASM Management Guidance is therefore supposed to provide the necessary steps for Governments globally to manage ASM.
Summary of the Guidance
The IGF’s Mining Policy Framework (MPF) is a compendium of best practices for governments to best deal with the full range of issues related to mining. It includes six themes, one of which is ASM. On ASM, the MPF provides some high level guidance on 1) integrating informal ASM activities into the legal system; 2) integrating informal ASM activities into the formal economic system, and; 3) reducing the social and environmental impacts of ASM.
RCS Global’s work in developing the IGF’s Guidance for Governments on Managing Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining builds on these three areas by providing a comprehensive menu of options and considerations for addressing the challenges of the sector according to the range of types of ASM activity a government is managing.
The Guidance is organized as a step-by-step process governments can use at each consecutive stage of management ASM. While it is a step-by-step process, it is also designed so that users can use it as a reference manual on particular issues. It is divided into three distinct phases.
- Pre-ASM Management Strategy. The first phase outlines the steps that a government should take before it begins to develop an ASM Management Strategy. It advises why and how responsibilities and leadership for the development and implementation of the strategy should be allocated. It recommends how stakeholders should be allowed to participate transparently in ASM management.
- Develop and ASM Management Strategy. Phase 2 outlines the steps that a government should take in developing or reviewing an ASM Management Strategy. Here a government decides what its goals are, how ASM should be divided into subtypes which need to be managed differently, which instruments and initiatives it will employ to reach its goals and in some cases how those instruments and initiatives will be designed.
- Implement the ASM Management Strategy. Phase 3 outlines the steps that a government should take in implementing its ASM Management Strategy and, in particular, how it should execute the instruments and initiatives that it choses in Phase 2.
A participatory approach to the ASM Management Guidance development
Since its inception the ASM Guidance’s design and development has reflected the need for stakeholder inclusion by integrating stakeholder feedback into its very process. It has done so through the presentation of participatory workshops and an online consultation period between June and August 2015. The participatory workshops were held in:
- Cape Town, during the Africa Mining Indaba (February 2015), to present the concept behind the ASM Guidance as well as gather feedback on priorities and key areas of interest;
- Paris, during the 9th ICGLR-OECD-UN GoE Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains (May 2015), to present the first version of the ASM Guidance, gather early feedback, and launch the online consultation;
- Antananarivo, as part of a GIZ sponsored workshop on the governance of the ASM sector (September 2015), to test the applicability of the Phase 1 of the Guidance to the Malagasy ASM sector. Marked interest from Madagascar’s EITI Secretariat and MSG has been observed;
- Geneva, during the IGF Annual General Meeting (October 2015), RCS Global presented and workshopped the second draft of the ASM Guidance. It was an opportunity to gather further feedback, and, decide on the process options and participants for the finalisation of the ASM Guidance.
Over the next year, RCS Global will work with the IGF and supporting donors to initiate a number of exercises to further improve and finalise the ASM Guidance, which will include:
- an additional Regional Workshop in early 2016, which will soon be announced;
- further technical improvements over the course of 2016;
- a complimentary shorter document to act as a user manual for the comprehensive Guidance document presented to here; and
- it is encouraged that countries and donor Governments signal interest for pilot implementation.
More details on these next steps will be announced over the next month.
For further information, please contact the RCS Global Project Director, Dr Nicholas Garrett on [email protected]