The Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Africa-Network (ASMAN) has commended the government of Ghana for finally signing unto the Minamata Convention.
Reliable Information has it that government of Ghana signed the Convention on 24th September 2014 at a high-level event during the opening of the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, together with 18 other countries.
Director of Research & Policy of ASMAN-Edward Kwasi Akuoko who gave the commendation at the 5th Annual Civil Society Review of the Natural Resource & Environment Sector held at the Ramada Beach Hotel in Accra said the move by government is a positive one and that its successful implementation will facilitate the elimination of mercury use in the Artisanal & Small Scale Mining Sector.
He was commenting on how government can streamline the sector to ensure sanity and development.
He therefore called on the government and the sector Ministry (Ministry of Environment Science, technology & Innovation) in collaboration with other related Ministries to roll out a programme that will draft, adopt and implement a country action plan that will ensure compliance.
Mr. Akuoko noted that the total abolishment of mercury use will not only reduce its negative impact on the Small Scale Miners themselves but also, the ecology of the environment.
Touching on other measures been adopted by government and the regulatory agencies (Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency) which the industry players are happy about, the ASMAN Policy & Research officer said the network is happy about efforts been made to put up a draft Environmental guideline on Artisanal & Small Scale Mining (ASM) operations.
They were also enthused about government intentions and assurances to improve the capacity of the statutory regulatory agencies to be able to effectively and efficiently supervise and monitor ASM activities.
He was however quick to acknowledge that there still exist some key challenges that government needs to focus and concentrate on resolving.
He mentioned the cumbersome licensing and permitting regime within the small scale mining sector and the unavailability of state support as part of the areas that require the state’s attention
Present at the function was the deputy Minister of Environment, Science, technology and Innovation (MESTI) Br Bernice Heloo.
source : Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Africa-Network