On May 30, 2018, in Ampomaah Tourist Hotel, East Legon, the launching ceremony of a handbook on sustainable small-scale mining financed by France was held in the presence of François PUJOLAS, Ambassador of France,M. Kofi TETTEH, Head of Small-scale mining Department Minerals Commission, and M. Kwame AHUMAH, representing ministry of Lands and natural resources.An innovative project
As part of its PISSCA (i.e. Projets Innovants des Sociétés Civiles et Coalition d'Acteurs) programme for the structuring and strengthening of Ghanaian civil society organisations, the French Embassy in Ghana is funding a project dubbed"Improved technologies for mercury-free gold extraction and promoting the on-going sectorial reforms in the small-scale mining industry", implemented by the Centre for Environmental Impact Analysis (CEIA).
The project aims to strengthen the capacities of small-scale miners in the use of mercury-free gold mining methods and to promote and support current reforms in the mining sector.Creation of a handbook
To this end, a handbook for small-scale miners has been produced in partnership with the Minerals Commission teams, the Ghana Geological Survey Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency. It includes the various laws and regulations that govern the sector as well as the stages of registration and obtaining licenses and extraction permits (from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Minerals Commission). It describes and promotes mercury-free mining techniques and processes that have less adverse effects on the environment and trains people to conduct geological studies and environmental impact assessments. Finally, it reports on the social, environmental and health effects of mercury use.Supporting sustainable development goals in Ghana
This project is part of the French Solidarity Programme, which seeks to improve the living conditions of the population and strengthen dialogue between NGOs and local and national authorities. This financial tool, which has existed in this form since 2015, but under other names since 1998, aims to support civil society initiatives, with a particular focus on the areas of environment and governance. Thus, in 2016, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs allocated a budget of 1.3 million GHC for the next 3 years to finance projects in Ghana and that implemented by the CEIA is one of them.
The French Ambassador to Ghana, François Pujolas, commended "the efforts of Government and civil society to put an end to illegal mining and generate sustainable livelihoods for people."
France's involvement in this project is a manifestation of its commitment to environmental issues, which are at the heart of UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and a priority for Ghana and Nana Akufo-Addo, co-chair of the Eminent Advocates Group for SDGs.
In conclusion, the Ambassador wished to highlight the success of the project:"I welcome the publication of this manual which is a perfect illustration of this partnership. It contributes to the promotion of "environmental friendly" techniques and at the same time will support a Government policy that is strategic for Ghana's future development."