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Communities and Small Scale Mining (CASM): A global partnership for action

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Everyday items employ minerals from artisanal mining, especially in technological devices. Coltan from the Democratic Republic of Congo for use in cell phones, pacemakers, and video cameras and lithium for batteries from Afghanistan, Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile, as well as industrial diamonds from Sierra Leone, arrive daily at ports all over the world. But these gems and minerals that make lives so much easier in the developed world, exact a heavy toll on the people who extract them and on the environment. As the world becomes more aware of the sources of these minerals, the need for a group such as Communities and Small-Scale Mining (CASM) becomes self-evident.

In existence for 10 years under the World Bank directorship, CASM has been able to achieve a great deal, including developing comprehensive strategies to mitigate the environmental impacts of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM,) developing training materials to preserve the health, safety, and environment of artisanal miners; increasing integration of awareness;  and increasing implementation of “integrated policy and practice” models by international agencies and governments.

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Attracting financing has been difficult, however, and the future of the organization has been in doubt in recent years. 

In order to address this concern,  stakeholders from the private sector, government, and civil society met on June 28-29 at the World Bank to thrash out the prospects for this network. In spite of the difficulties, participants applauded the World Bank CASM team for its efforts to promote the endeavor with very limited resources. Throughout the two days of the roundtable, many ideas were conceived and supported for further discussion.

“This sector is not recognized as an economic sector. It is not recognized as part of the social sector although it has a large impact on both areas. Finding the right home for CASM is a challenge,” commented Laura Barreto from the Alliance for Responsible Mining in Canada.

Keven Telmer from the Artisanal Gold Council noted that CASM was not represented at the recent Global Mercury Conference where delegates from 120 countries congregated. The delegates recognized the importance of ASM to their economies and expressed  interest in treating the problem holistically.

Going forward, all agreed that CASM should continue. The form and focus will be laid out by a planning committee which will prepare a strategic options paper and a business plan for submission to other members and presentation at the next CASM annual conference.  It is expected that a better, stronger CASM will emerge after this.

URL Address
http://www.artisanalmining.org/casm/
Author
World Bank IFC, DFID, CommDev
Date
02/29/2012
Language
English

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Date CreatedWednesday, February 29, 2012 1:47 PM
Date ModifiedWednesday, February 29, 2012 1:47 PM
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