Sustainable Markets                Responding to the                challenge of artisanal and                small-scale ...
IIED Sustainable Markets papersThis paper was produced by IIED’s Sustainable Markets Group. The Sustainable Markets Groupd...
Responding to the challenge ofartisanal and small-scale mining How can knowledge networks help?
The authorAbbi Buxton is a Researcher in IIED’s Sustainable Markets Group. She leadsIIED’s research in mining. This includ...
contentsContentsExecutive Summary                                                                              vIntroducti...
Boxes, Tables and FiguresBox 1: Defining artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)                 1Box 2: Defining ‘policy’ ...
executive summaryExecutive SummaryArtisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) includes 20–30                doesn’t work. Howev...
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining IThis document suggests a mix of options to address ASM’s ...
INTRODUCTIoNIntroductionThere are 20–30 million artisanal and small-scale miners               environmental damage (parti...
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining Ifrom ASM products and literature” (Resolve 2010:3).1 Such...
Section 1: What are the ASM challenges?1: What are the ASM challenges?1.1  Mapping ASM activities                         ...
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining I1.1.2  Understanding the diversity                       ...
Section 1: What are the ASM challenges?and Ghana, ASM produces 65 and 27 per cent of all gold             studies have exa...
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining IPoverty is a much studied and theorised concept, its many...
Section 1: What are the ASM challenges?So informality cannot be viewed simply as either a positive                  ■■ pol...
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining I                                                         ...
Section 1: What are the ASM challenges?                                                                                  W...
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining I                                                         ...
Section 2: Using knowledge to meet ASM challenges2: Using knowledge to meet ASM challenges                                ...
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining ITable 3: Different types of knowledge Knowledge Type     ...
Section 2: Using knowledge to meet ASM challenges2.2  Mapping knowledge and policy in                                     ...
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED
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Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining - Report-IIED

  1. 1. Sustainable Markets Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining How can knowledge networks help? 2013 Abbi Buxtonwww.iied.org www.iied.org
  2. 2. IIED Sustainable Markets papersThis paper was produced by IIED’s Sustainable Markets Group. The Sustainable Markets Groupdrives IIED’s efforts to ensure that markets contribute to positive social, environmental and economicoutcomes. The group brings together IIED’s work on market governance, business models, market failure,consumption, investment and the economics of climate change.Published by IIED 2013Citation: Buxton, A. 2013. Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining. How canknowledge networks help? IIED, LondonCover photo © Abbi Buxton: small-scale mining of tin in East AfricaSustainable Markets GroupInternational Institute for Environment and Development80–86 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8NH, UKTel: +44 (0)20 3463 7399Fax: +44 (0)20 3514 9055email: info@iied.orgwww.iied.orgISBN: 978-1-84369-911-8A catalogue record for this paper is available from the British Library.This publication can also be downloaded from: http://pubs.iied.org/16532IIED.html
  3. 3. Responding to the challenge ofartisanal and small-scale mining How can knowledge networks help?
  4. 4. The authorAbbi Buxton is a Researcher in IIED’s Sustainable Markets Group. She leadsIIED’s research in mining. This includes research reviewing the mining andsustainable development agenda (against that laid out by the Mining, Mineralsand Sustainable Development programme in 2002) and research on thegovernance of large-scale extractives such as the use and implementation ofFree, Prior and Informed Consent. Abbi is the lead on IIED’s work on artisanaland small-scale mining, including the knowledge and network programmeproposed in this paper. Abbi joined IIED in 2010, prior to which she workedin the private sector. Her research-based expertise is in market-baseddevelopment, small-scale producers and values chains. Abbi has an MSc inDevelopment Management from the London School of Economics.For further information contact: Abbi Buxton abbi.buxton@iied.orgSarah Best, Interim Programme Lead, ASM Knowledge Programme sarah.best@iied.orgAcknowledgementsI would like to thank IIED colleagues Duncan Macqueen, James Mayers,Steve Bass, Bill Vorley, Emma Wilson and Emily Benson who all gave theirtime and insights in research for this paper. Thank you to the range of ASMsector stakeholders who took time to talk to me and share their thoughtson the sector. Special thanks to Karen Hayes of PACT for her feedback andcomments on an earlier draft.
  5. 5. contentsContentsExecutive Summary vIntroduction11: What are the ASM challenges? 31.1  Mapping ASM activities 3 1.1.1  Understanding the scale and contribution 3 1.1.2  Understanding the diversity 4 1.1.3  Understanding ASM’s counterparts 41.2  Mapping the issues 5 1.2.1 Vulnerability 6 1.2.2 Marginalisation 6 1.2.3 Informal 6 1.2.4  Facing inherent structural challenges 72: Using knowledge to meet ASM challenges 112.1  What is the role of knowledge? 112.2  Mapping knowledge and policy in the ASM sector 13 2.2.1  The stock of ASM knowledge 13 2.2.2  The flow of ASM knowledge 13 2.2.3  Demand for ASM knowledge 13 2.2.4  The ASM knowledge-policy interface 142.3  Knowledge and network programmes 14 2.3.1  A virtual network 14 2.3.2  A knowledge review 15 2.3.3  A dialogue series 15 2.3.4  Learning groups 15 2.3.5  Large events 16Conclusion: What next for designing a knowledge programme for ASM? 17Annex 1: Excerpt from the summary of outcomes of the Roundtable on the future of CASM 19Annex 2: Case studies on IIED’s knowledge programmes 21Forest Connect 21Forest Governance Learning Group (FGLG) 23The Forests Dialogue (TFD) 25Poverty and Conservation Learning Group 27References29
  6. 6. Boxes, Tables and FiguresBox 1: Defining artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) 1Box 2: Defining ‘policy’ 11Box 3: ‘Top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ 11Table 1: Estimated number of ASM miners in different countries 3Table 2: Mapping the problems and challenges of ASM 7Table 3: Different types of knowledge 12Table 4: Examples of FGLG outputs 24Figure 1: Diversity in poverty-driven ASM 4Figure 2: The ASM Poverty Trap (Barry 1996 modified in Hilson 2012) 5Figure 3: Forest Connect’s iterative process of action learning 22
  7. 7. executive summaryExecutive SummaryArtisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) includes 20–30 doesn’t work. However, much of it is neither written down normillion people worldwide, with three to five times that number publicly shared. This is symptomatic of poor coordination andindirectly supported through their activities. Yet development sharing between development practitioners, consultants anddonors, governments, wider industry players and NGOs often large-scale mining companies working with ASM communitiesneglect this sector, focusing on ASM’s negative impacts across the world.rather than on addressing its structural challenges to improve Marginalisation and informality means very little knowledgethe sector’s opportunities for sustainable development. from ASM communities reaches and influences policymakers.ASM can be a resilient livelihood choice for people who are Yet this knowledge is invaluable in understanding localvulnerable or looking for economic diversity in their livelihoods. opinions and values and testing interventions for localIn fact, ASM generates up to five times the income of other relevance and practicality. The failure to capture this ‘citizen-rural poverty-driven activities in agriculture and forestry. knowledge’ perpetuates uncertainties on both structuralThe sector employs 10 times more people than does the challenges and potential policy innovations for ASM.large-scale mining sector, and stimulates considerable local Better knowledge on ASM, which also addresses theeconomic development around ASM sites. accessibility and visibility of what is currently known and usedSection 1 of this document reviews what is known about by policymakers, is essential for effective policy influencethe challenges in the ASM sector. The environmental and and innovation. This knowledge needs to feed into nationalsocial impacts of ASM can be dire but so are the structural policy and institutional improvements to achieve changechallenges underlying them. ASM is, for the most part, a ‘on the ground’ but also international industry initiatives andpoverty-driven livelihood chosen by people who are both international sustainable development initiatives, where ASMvulnerable and marginalised. The diversity of sector players is currently poorly represented.(including women, children, migrants and the most vulnerable) Section 2 explores how a ‘knowledge intermediary’, which actsmeans considerable diversity in the drivers and incentives to link knowledge with policy, could address these gaps in thefor ASM activity. The sector’s structural challenges include: ASM sector. A knowledge programme or network achievespoor laws, policies and implementation and government impacts at the local, national and/or international level by:marginalisation or repression; cultural marginalisation andexclusion of certain demographic groups; uncontrolled ■■ Helping participants find their way through dispersedmigration; low barriers to entry into informal or illegal ASM informationwith its poor social and environmental protections; poverty- ■■ Ensuring wider understanding of little-known or little-driven, short-term decision making; poor access to financial understood ideasservices, market information, technology, and geological data;political exclusion and ‘policy blindness’; and a serious lack of ■■ Providing participants with the resources, capacities anddata on ASM individuals and communities that reveal the true skills to impact policy change through knowledgescale, nature and contribution of the sector. ■■ Bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders and building a community of shared values and standardsOne of the primary obstacles to addressing these challengesis poor coordination and use of what is, and an identification ■■ Enabling participants to carry out their individual activitiesof what isn’t, known about the sector from researchers, more effectively through learning from their peerspractitioners and miners and communities themselves. Section There are many different ways of organising a knowledge2 of this document discusses the gaps in both the stock of programme, depending on a sector’s particular needs. IIED’sknowledge on ASM and the way in which existing knowledge experience in this area points to a number of options thatflows to influence policy at a national and international level. have been particularly successful in improving national andThere is a large amount of practice-informed knowledge in the international policy in different natural resource sectors —ASM sector, offering ‘hands on’ experience of what does and outlined in Section 2 and covered in more detail in Annex 2.
  8. 8. Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining IThis document suggests a mix of options to address ASM’s small-scale miners into these groups so they can helpparticular needs and challenges: identify local problems, challenges and possible solutions would specifically address the obstacles to citizen1. Establish a ‘virtual network’ centred on an interactive knowledge flow into national policy. Such learning groups website database of projects, research, organisations can also take place across a number of countries with and events as a solid base for information-sharing international coordination to facilitate cross-country and knowledge coordination across a large number of knowledge sharing and international policy influence and interested stakeholders. Regular updates, analysis and innovation. horizon scanning of sector knowledge would ensure that users remain engaged with current understanding in ASM. 4. Set up a series of in-depth dialogues that bring together a diverse range of stakeholders to address2. Conduct a ‘knowledge review’ by drawing on research, particularly contentious issues in the sector. These can practice-informed and community- (or citizen-based) be local, regional or international dialogues that address knowledge to design a tool for collecting baseline data on different issues at different times – working through a ASM communities. This tool should (a) allow policymakers process of knowledge synthesis and problem identification to understand and respond to the diversity and structural to reveal options and build consensus across sector challenges of the sector and (b) identify ‘success metrics’ stakeholders to build on synergies of influence and for monitoring the effects of policy on ASM. innovation.3. Employ IIED’s ‘learning group’ model to convene select individuals within a country who meet, exchange Shared knowledge on ASM’s diversity of causes, motivations ideas and information, learn together and then put their and outcomes is the key to ensuring locally appropriate shared knowledge into action in their own working development responses for this important and neglected environment or networks. Incorporating artisanal and sector.
  9. 9. INTRODUCTIoNIntroductionThere are 20–30 million artisanal and small-scale miners environmental damage (particularly through the useacross the world (see Table 1 for a breakdown by country) of mercury in gold mining) to the use of ASM revenueand the sector supports three to five times more indirectly. to finance conflicts, the social disruption and conflictHowever, there are no reliable figures, and this is symptomatic sometimes caused by ‘rush’ operations, the high incidenceof a broader neglect and misunderstanding of the sector. of prostitution, and the spread of HIV/AIDS where migrant workers are involved. Box 1: Defining artisanal and small- At the extreme, governments consider the sector illegal and attempt to ban it through different means. In many scale mining (ASM) cases (since ASM falls outside the regulatory framework), Definitions for ASM are disputed; section 1.1 explores the they simply neglect it, thereby allowing negative social and diversity in the sector, including difference in scale, legality, environmental impacts to be aggravated … demographics and seasonality. But broadly speaking, The relationship between large companies and small-scale ASM operations exploit marginal or small deposits, lack miners is poorly understood and often troubled, with mutual capital, are labour intensive, have poor access to markets mistrust and sometimes conflict…” and support services, low standards of health and safety and have a significant impact on the environment (MMSD However, there has been some progress over the past decade 2002:315). In this paper we use the phrase ‘artisanal and (Buxton 2012). MMSD tasked governments with responsibility small-scale mining’ and the abbreviation ‘ASM’ to mean for ASM and some have adopted more inclusive policies mining activities fitting this description. (including Uganda, Sierra Leone, Mongolia and Ghana), increasingly recognising ASM as a legitimate route out of poverty (Ethiopia is an inspiring case study). OrganisationsASM occurs in some of the most remote areas in the world and including Oro Verde, Fairtrade International, and the Allianceinvolves some of the world’s poorest people. Despite the scale for Responsible Mining (ARM) have worked towards ethicalof need, many development donors and programmes don’t supply chains for minerals, creating the Fairtrade and Fairminedengage with the sector, seeing ASM livelihoods as undesirable Gold Standard and highlighting the sector’s ability to leadand fearing that engagement may perpetuate illegal or innovation and change.dangerous activities. So ASM continues to be underfundedand neglected compared to other rural, poverty-driven activities The World Bank’s Communities and Small-scale Miningsuch as small-scale agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Each of initiative (CASM), launched in 2001, improved understandingthose were mentioned in the post-Rio 2012 ‘Future we want’ of the sector, envisioning a positive livelihoods approachvision as important contributors to sustainable development. to ASM and responding to the need for cross disciplinaryArtisanal and small-scale miners were not mentioned at any solutions and improved coordination between the majorpoint in the document. stakeholders. Funding constraints restricted the initiative’s impact and eventually led to its closure. Although CASMThe large-scale mining sector (LSM) is often in conflict with continues in name it is the technical assistance and capacityASM over land and resources, and governments tend to favour building events that the World Bank is investing in rather thanLSM or focus on top-down formalisation initiatives that fail to the knowledge and network programme.recognise the inherent structural challenges ASM faces. Yet demand for CASM’s networking and knowledgeThe problem framing has changed little since the Mining, generation role continues. An independent review of theMinerals and Sustainable Development project of 2002 CASM programme in 2010/2011 identified the value and(MMSD 2002:314): demand for a more active and responsive network and ASM activities are often viewed negatively by governments, knowledge programme “designed and resourced to actively large companies, environmentalists, and others. Concerns seek and make connections between key ASM actors and range from the use of child labour and the potential for activities, as well as to distil and promote lesson learning I 1
  10. 10. Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining Ifrom ASM products and literature” (Resolve 2010:3).1 Such Section 1 explores existing knowledge and experience ona programme would ensure representation of ASM issues ASM. It maps the key problems affecting the ASM sectorin major international fora and offer a space for dialogue (as articulated by both stakeholders and the literature) andbetween stakeholders at both regional and international levels, highlights some of the known structural challenges preventingeffecting change in both public and private policy design and sustainable development. Section 2 looks at how knowledgeimplementation. might influence policy, maps the knowledge–policy gaps in the ASM sector and discusses how ‘knowledge intermediaries’This paper lays the conceptual groundwork for such a can act to fill knowledge gaps. The paper concludes by settingknowledge and network programme by: out how an improved knowledge and network programme1. Outlining the artisanal and small-scale mining challenges could address the challenges of the ASM sector through based on major sustainable development thinking; and knowledge and policy innovation.2. Sharing IIED’s experience and understanding of knowledge programmes and networks that may work to meet the particular knowledge and policy gaps in the ASM sector.1  See Annex 1 for the programme options proposed by Resolve and discussed in the CASM Roundtable in 2010. In that list of programme options, CASM 1.0 referred to the work of theexisting CASM – primarily a website database and yearly conference. CASM 2.0 describes the more active and responsive network and knowledge programme discussed here. And CASM3.0 refers to the in-country capacity building and technical assistance work that now provides the basis for the World Bank’s CASM programme.2 I IIED
  11. 11. Section 1: What are the ASM challenges?1: What are the ASM challenges?1.1  Mapping ASM activities Table 1: Estimated number of ASM miners in different countries1.1.1  Understanding the scale andcontribution Country Number of MinersEstimates of artisanal and small-scale miners vary from 20 to Bolivia 72,00030 million. The last official figures were 10 million (includingup to 50 per cent women and 10 per cent children), Brazil 10,000estimated by the International Labour Organization (ILO) Burkino Faso 100,000–200,000in 1999. Over the past 10 years numbers have increaseddramatically (see Table 1 below) — driven by a host of factors Central African Republic 100,000including increasing gold prices (rocketing from $290/ China 3,000,000–15,000,000ounce in October 2001 to $1740/ounce in October 2011),new conflict areas where ASM activity can be a source for Democratic Republic of Congo 2,000,000funds (particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo), Ecuador 92,000and increased demand for minerals such as tin, tantalumand tungsten (all used by the booming personal electronics Ghana 180,000–200,000industries). India 12,000,000Overall, artisanal and small-scale mining contributes 15–20 Indonesia 109,000per cent of global minerals and metals. Within this, the sectorproduces approximately 80 per cent of all sapphires, 20 per Malawi 40,000cent of all gold and up to 20 per cent of diamonds (Estelle Mali 200,000Levin Ltd 2012).ASM operates in over 80 countries and is the dominant Mongolia 40,000–60,000livelihood in some. In the Central African Republic two- Mozambique 60,000thirds of people are estimated to rely directly or indirectly onartisanal diamond mining and conservative estimates suggest Nepal 120,000it injects as much as $144.7 million into the economy (Eftimie Pakistan 400,000et al. 2012). In Bolivia, mining makes up approximately 40 percent of the foreign current incomes from exports, 32 per cent Philippines 185,400–300,000of which comes from ASM, with 85 per cent of the mining Papua New Guinea 50,000–60,000sector’s total employment in small mining cooperatives andmines (ILO 2005:6).. In Mongolia, local economies near South Africa 10,000mining are worth an estimated $505 million annually (Eftimie Sri Lanka 165,000et al. 2012). Tanzania 550,000 Uganda 196,000 Zambia 30,000 Zimbabwe 350,000–500,000 Sources: Hayes 2007, Hentschel et al. 2002, Hinton 2009, 2011a, Krishnara and Shah 2004 and Lahiri-Dutt 2008 in Eftimie 2012:7 I 3
  12. 12. Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining I1.1.2  Understanding the diversity and vulnerable miners, driven by poverty. ASM may also be aASM shows considerable diversity in scale (from rudimentary coping mechanism for shocks (‘shock-pull mining’) — such asmining with picks and shovels to small-scale mining with loss of employment, conflicts or natural disaster.simple machinery) and in employment (from ‘diggers’ to the So although ASM groups may face the same problems — such‘miner’ or ‘gang leader’). ‘Diggers’ tend to be wage labourers as child labour, mercury use, illegal trade — their structuralwho are excavating, washing, hauling, picking and sorting challenges and drivers can be very different. Policy responseswaste and transporting or providing security. Different terms need to understand mining communities’ varying incentivesare used in different cultural contexts, and each role tends to and the particular challenges facing different groups withinhave its own local incentives and accountability structures. those communities. Figure 1 sets out the diversity in poverty-Diggers often include women, the elderly, and children. driven ASM graphically.They are hired by the miner or gang leader — owner of theequipment, ghetto or pit — who bears all the costs and setsthe terms of employment. 1.1.3  Understanding ASM’s counterpartsMost ASM is informal — operating in the absence of an Counterparts in large-scale miningapplicable or appropriate legal framework. However, some The large-scale mining (LSM) sector employs approximatelyminers operate within a legal framework, holding land titles 2–3 million people. ASM employs roughly 10 times more,and government permits, paying taxes and subject to social with earnings varying greatly from subsistence amounts toand environmental regulations (Gamarra Chilmaza 2005). $2,400 a year for gold miners in Indonesia (Telmer 2007)This is termed ‘legal’ or ‘formal’ ASM. Others are illegal — (although the average for gold miners is $5–15 a day)operating in contravention of an applicable or appropriate (Siegel and Veiga 2010). Large-scale mining can make hugelegal framework. revenue contributions through national taxes, but benefits do not always reach local and poorer communities. In contrast,Miners can be local people or migrants from within country although ASM may not always be officially taxed, it canor from neighbouring countries. ASM may be year-round provide immediate, direct and local economic inputs.(‘permanent ASM’) or ‘seasonal’ (for example, in conjunctionwith farming). Newly discovered resources can draw huge In some countries, ASM production equals or exceeds thatmigrations into an area (‘rush mining’). Increasing market of LSM. For example, in China ASM produces 75 per cent ofdemand and mineral prices (particularly for gold) also attract bauxite and in Indonesia ASM tin production equals that ofopportunistic and wealthy miners into the sector. But these LSM (MMSD 2002:318). In Brazil, small-scale miners mine 84should be distinguished from the majority of marginalised per cent of all construction and building materials. In EcuadorFigure 1: Diversity in poverty-driven ASM Formal/ Legal Illegal Informal Legality Old Permanent Children Seasonal The diversity of Demographic Seasonality the ASM sector Men Shock-pull Women Rush Origins Migrant Local4 I IIED
  13. 13. Section 1: What are the ASM challenges?and Ghana, ASM produces 65 and 27 per cent of all gold studies have examined the structural challenges across arespectively. range of societies, communities and geographies, so less is known about how different ASM communities operate.Comparisons between LSM’s and ASM’s environmentalimpacts are not straightforward. Comparing the impacts of ASM is three to five times more lucrative than other small-ASM and LSM gold mining make an interesting example scale, poverty-driven economic activities with impacts on both(see Telmer 2009). ASM uses less energy, releases fewer household income and contribution to local economiesgreenhouse gasses and produces less waste rock and (Siegel and Veiga 2009) (also discussed in section 1.1.1tailings per unit of gold. However, pollution is a problem. ASM above). Wages range upwards of $2 a day depending on thereleases 40 times more mercury per unit of gold produced mineral, the miner’s role, and geography. Uganda’s 200,000than LSM (and five times more overall). ASM gold mining artisanal miners contribute around 20 times more to GDPusing cyanide uses about twice as much per unit of gold than foresters, fishers and farmers (Eftimie et al. 2012:4).produced compared with LSM. And ASM does not practice However, like small-scale fisheries, farming and forestry, ASMwaste management. is largely an informal economy, so its contribution is often invisible to government decision makers and the generalBoth ASM and LSM can have dire social impacts. Although, public.leaders in the LSM sector have developed many technicalsolutions to environmental problems over the years, LSM Each natural resource sector’s environmental impacts varycontinues to struggle with the complexity of mining’s social greatly in type and scale but ASM’s social impacts tend toproblems (Buxton 2012). LSM may not be the first cause of be the most harrowing. ASM has inherent health and safetylocal poverty, but a new mine will often aggravate poverty’s risks and the prospects of lucrative rewards incite greater riskchallenges or cause other social problems. An influx of people taking.can put pressure on local resources, and the mine may forceresettlement on communities. Social problems in the ASMsector, however, should not be viewed only as a mining 1.2  Mapping the issuesproblem, but additionally one of poverty and marginalisationexacerbated by the political economy of informality. The Often, artisanal and small-scale miners lack the most basicunderlying challenges driving ASM are often conflicts, extreme social and economic infrastructure needed to break out ofpoverty and vulnerability. extreme poverty (Siegel and Veiga 2010:277), making them unable to successfully educate their children, build upon theirCounterparts in the other sectors productive assets, and move ahead economically (Carter etASM as an economic activity compares both favourably and al. 2007:838). Inappropriate technologies, poor information,unfavourably with its counterparts in forestry, fisheries and low levels of environmental awareness and a low asset basefarming — but it is much less well understood. Far fewer perpetuate this poverty trap.Figure 2: The ASM Poverty Trap (Barry 1996 modified in Hilson 2012) Low levels of technology and poor geo-prospecting Low recovery Unskilled labour and Low productivity inability to investEnvironmental damage, Poverty: large numbers deteriorated quality of of miners exploiting Low income life and health limited resources Poverty exacerbationSource: Barry 1996 modified in Hilson 2012 I 5
  14. 14. Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining IPoverty is a much studied and theorised concept, its many approach can be applied to ASM — ‘mining yet hungry’ —facets framed and explained in many ways. The two facets meaning the miners have insufficient assets or income toexplored here are vulnerability and marginalisation. These are purchase adequate food for themselves or their dependents.further exacerbated by informality — though informality canalso provide opportunities, as discussed below. 1.2.3 Informal Informality — operating without an applicable or appropriate1.2.1 Vulnerability legal framework — was once considered synonymous withASM is frequently driven by vulnerability, offering an (often subsistence activities that offer no real opportunity forshort-term) coping mechanism for poverty. economic development. More recently, interpretations have become more nuanced. Informality can represent innovation‘Vulnerability’ is a person’s (or group’s) particular and dynamism, and can offer poor producers an accessiblecharacteristics or situation that influences their ability to route into economic activity (De Soto 2002; Hart 2006).anticipate and overcome shocks and hazards (Wisner 2004). However, it can also exacerbate problems of marginalisationPeople are vulnerable when they have limited ability to and vulnerability. Informality marginalises a communityovercome unpredictable crises and shocks such as floods, politically, economically and even socially. Informality can bothdrought, sickness, environmental degradation and worsening increase resilience by providing an economic livelihood activityterms of trade (URT 2004:19). Poor people are especially and increase vulnerability as it removes the protections andvulnerable, as they have few buffers or resources to cope with opportunities provided by the government.hazards or shocks. Understanding poverty reduction requiresan understanding of vulnerability (IDS 2012). Most ASM is informal — but miners are not alone. Many small-scale producers in natural resources sectors operateFor example, gold mining is no longer just a boom and bust informally and often this is the norm. In Bolivia, for example,activity, but one driven by the inherent vulnerabilities of people use the term “popular economy” or “people’spoverty (although there are some who continue to be driven economy” (Hivos 2012a). This resonates with the ILO’sby opportunism). Gold is currency for people who are unable (1972) definition of informality as a ‘way of doing things’to participate in the cash economy. Its high margins and low defined by:barriers to entry make it a highly lucrative activity for thosewith little human, physical and financial capital. ASM can thus ■■ low entry barriers to entrepreneurship in terms of skills andprovide a relief to vulnerability, particularly where resources capital requirements;are invested wisely. ■■ family ownership of enterprises;But ASM is itself a livelihood that exposes its participants ■■ small-scale of operation;to vulnerability. For example, unstable mineral prices create ■■ intensive production with outdated technology; andvulnerability for those relying on ASM as their main livelihood. ■■ unregulated and competitive markets.Price fluctuations affect a household’s ability to pay for food, Often, informality dominates because of formidableschooling, health, and other basic needs. Cash economies obstacles to formalisation. These processes tend to becan make women and children particularly vulnerable where overly complicated and bureaucratic, centrally determinedmen restrict or withhold money for household essentials. ASM and managed, reliant on the State for regulation, and lackingcommunities are vulnerable to exploitation in trade, to criminal social relevance. This is both symptomatic of and exacerbatesactivity as well as to increasing health risks (as few have geographic, political and social marginalisation.access to local hospitals and clinics). Informal systems often have rules and processes based on1.2.2 Marginalisation years of social and cultural tradition. Regulation is throughThe Hivos–IIED Knowledge Programme on small producer cultural norms and social contracts — a form of ‘legal pluralism’agency describes ‘small-scale farmers’ by their degree of in which traditional, informal and formal rules overlap andmarginalisation rather than the size of their land or scale operate simultaneously (Cleaver 2000). Although not perfect,(Murphy 2010) — recognising that size does not always they are usually socially relevant (Hart 2006). ASM, forequate to prosperity. The same approach can be applied to example, is often viewed as chaotic and disorganised. Butartisanal and small-scale miners, regardless of their exact size, in reality there are often high levels of organisation based onlevel of mechanisation, etc. years of cultural practice and social interaction (i.e. regulation — just not by the state) (see, for example, Vlassenroot and VanASM faces the same marginalisation as other ‘small-scale’ Bockstael’s 2008 studies of artisanal diamond mining).sectors. Many miners operate in remote regions withpoor transport and market access, suffering geographical Many academics have long expected informal sectors tomarginalisation that makes them less able to access be gradually absorbed into formal sectors as developmentinformation, key technologies and inputs. It also leads to progresses. But in many sectors, including ASM, this hasn’tpolitical marginalisation, as communities far from the capital or happened. Governments often continue to be inefficient or‘centre’ are less able to influence policy and keep ‘in sight of’ even predatory in their regulation and management of thepolicymakers. Small-scale producers may be marginalised in sector, and the formal sector’s capital intensity excludesterms of access to markets — forced to sell through informal, many who still turn to the informal sector for employmentillegal or less lucrative channels. Marginalisation is often linked and income. Legal systems often perpetuate informality andto food insecurity. Concern International defines marginalised thereby prevent individual and country resources from beingfarmers as ‘farming yet hungry’ (Murphy 2010). The same used efficiently.6 I IIED
  15. 15. Section 1: What are the ASM challenges?So informality cannot be viewed simply as either a positive ■■ political exclusion (meaning miners are often excludedchoice or a problem to be overcome. Rather, it can be seen from decision making at various levels) and ‘policyas a response to government’s failure to properly set and blindness’;implement appropriate laws. To be effective, formalisation ■■ lack of baseline/census data on ASM individuals andpolicies require the state to recognise the dynamism and communities; andresilience of the informal sector and incentivise small-scale ■■ reliance on mining in ASM communities due toproducers to participate in the market in fair competition with vulnerability and marginalisation.their larger/already formalised counterparts. Structural challenges can vary dramatically by region or1.2.4  Facing inherent structural challenges geography. For example, child labour in ASM varies betweenThe structural dynamics of the ASM sector are poorly Latin America, Asia and Africa (ILO 2005:4–5). In Latinunderstood. Despite significant documentation of ASM’s America, where ASM has a long history, children’s involvementenvironmental and socio-economic impacts there ‘continues is part of that long tradition. In Asia, the private sector’sto be very little baseline information on how operators and involvement in ASM means there is less child labour. In Southactivities are organised’ (Hilson 2012:184). Table 2 (below) Asia the traditional stratifications of society means child labourexplores how the ASM sector is often perceived, understood is often seen alongside social marginalisation. And in Africa,and approached — the ‘problem framing’ — and then highlights where ASM is associated with civil war and conflict, weaksome of what is known about the more problematic structural government and social institutions means children are forcedcauses and challenges. Within these, certain trends begin into mining through need.to emerge that reveal what marginalisation, vulnerability and So local knowledge and understanding on ASM is crucial.informality mean for ASM. These include: This paper discusses what is known at a broad level on the■■ weak legislation, policies and implementation and often structural challenges facing the sector (with more detail in government marginalisation or repression (favouring LSM the bibliographic references). However, far more knowledge at the expense of ASM); needs to be gathered and shared on the exact nature of■■ cultural marginalisation and exclusion of certain the challenge in local ASM communities. The next section demographic groups; explores this need further.■■ low barriers to entry into informal or illegal ASM with its In short, we should consider ASM as a response to poverty poor social and environmental protections; and vulnerability. This huge sector will neither vanish nor■■ lack of legal protection for land and resource rights; become formalised any time soon. The scale of both its problems and its opportunities demands more attention.■■ poverty-driven, short-term decision making; Development agencies, governments and businesses need■■ uncontrolled migration; to learn and, where appropriate, act to ensure they recognise■■ poor access to financial services, market information, the positive contributions that ASM can make, and start to technology and geological data; address its challenges.Table 2: Mapping the problems and challenges of ASM What we know about the structural causes or How the impact or problem is expressed challenges Women are often involved in processing and waste Cultural or traditional ‘factors, functions and disposal, exposing them to harmful chemicals, with expectations’ determine roles, affecting resources rights severe consequences for family well-being and health, and decision making (Eftimie et al. 2012:9). including during pregnancy. Women are often ‘invisible’ on mine sites, transporting Women often suffer crime, domestic violence and rape and processing materials (often in domestic/private and are forced into prostitution. spaces) rather than digging (Eftimie et al. 2012). Their Women’s ‘economic’ activities are an addition to their contributions are difficult to identify, poorly researched, Social Issues domestic responsibilities. informal and therefore perceived as marginal by policymakers. Women make less money for similar tasks (Eftimie et al. 2012:9); rarely control mining income (ibid); and usually Women’s unique role and challenges are often work near the home in less profitable seasonal activities overlooked in policy responses where they are (Dreschler 2001 in Eftimie et al. 2012:8). considered in the same paragraph as children or treated the same as men in ‘gender neutral’ policies. Degradation of nearby natural resources needed for food, firewood and medicine particularly affects women. Women’s employment in ASM tends to decrease as mechanisation and organisation increases – making them less likely to benefit from these developments. Lack of law and order makes women more vulnerable to crimes. Low incomes force them into prostitution. I 7
  16. 16. Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining I What we know about the structural causes or How the impact or problem is expressed challenges ASM is one of the worst forms of child labour The ILO (2005:2–3) identifies a number of structural because of widespread and severe hazards that risk challenges leading to child labour in ASM: death, injury and disease (ILO 2005). Low barriers to entry, minimal mechanisation and a lot of Children undertake arduous activities such as heavy physically demanding work with no need for education lifting, digging, ore haulage and transport from as young makes it easy to use children. Access tunnels may be as six years old and are working underground from the so small that only children can fit down them. age of nine (MMSD 2002:24). Poor regulation of health and safety expose children to Child labour can range from help after school to full extreme risks. time slave-like employment in the most hazardous ASM’s poverty-driven nature and low margins force conditions. families to use child labour. Children can become involved in prostitution, drug and Migration patterns associated with ASM disrupts alcohol abuse and violence. children’s schooling. In the early 2000s the ILO estimated a million children Mining’s health and environmental hazards are poorly were artisanal miners. This number is likely to have understood, especially for children. increased with the threefold increase in the total Child labour is closely linked to women’s burdens (both number involved in ASM since that time. at the mine and at home) and to their extreme poverty, lack of education and lack of control over earnings. Conflicts between ASM and LSM activities are ASM often doesn’t have formally recognised land rights Social Issues increasing as ASM increases and as LSM targets more making it difficult for them to defend their activities remote areas. Violent interactions between the two and making it difficult for LSM to identify them and (including deaths) necessitate security protocols. determine the best way to interact with them. LSM can damage ASM communities by causing Governments often favour LSM with its large in-migrations, inflation, increased pressure on social investments and government returns, and ignore ASM’s services, dilution of culture and traditional beliefs and role and contribution. This is reflected in laws and by undermining social cohesion (D’Souza 2007). policies that fail to protect ASM. Although LSM can bring better infrastructure and ways Long term conflicts and resistance arise where LSM of working, it can also force ASM into less lucrative and ASM compete for the same resources. Pre-existing alternatives, restrict the land mined and damage other ASM workers often act as ‘unpaid geologists’ for LSM natural resources that communities rely on (ibid). to identify resources. Elsewhere, ASM miners may flock ASM can be the single biggest problem for large- to an LSM site, re-mining waste products and taking scale mines, particularly in gold. ASM can undermine advantage of easy access — either passively or with a company’s social licence to operate by creating criminal intent. environmental and public health problems, conflicts Policies for resettlement can be poorly thought through with security and allegations of human rights abuse, and fail to understand, or address, existing livelihoods’ and by disputing rights to land and ownership of the social, economic and political contexts. Remoteness resources. Managing interactions with ASM can take and social and political marginalisation increase the huge amounts of time, present a serious security issue, likelihood of ASM getting a bad deal. disrupt operations and undermine efforts to rehabilitate There is much mutual distrust and misunderstanding certain areas. The legal impacts can be huge and between the sectors. ongoing – preventing mines from securing project financing.8 I IIED
  17. 17. Section 1: What are the ASM challenges? What we know about the structural causes or How the impact or problem is expressed challenges Occupational and community health and safety The high levels of health and safety risks for ASM tends to be very poor in ASM. miners have several causes (ICMM et al. 2009): Self-employed miners in the smallest underground Informal and unregulated, much ASM activity operates mines typically work in unsupported tunnels (of 1.5 outside of health and safety legislation or enforcement. metres in diameter and up to 90 metres deep) drilling Protective equipment, from helmets and dust masks and removing rock with hand tools and carrying the through to guarding shields in front of operating blades, ore to the surface in sacks. Most miners wear shorts, may be cost-prohibitive for ASM miners. trainers and sometimes a shirt. Helmets are only Technical expertise in geological stress analysis in occasionally worn. Use of earplugs, masks and gloves underground mines is typically absent, leading to more is rare. unpredicted rock falls. Even where miners introduceSocial Issues The most common accidents are trips or falls, being mechanised equipment and techniques, complementary hit by machinery or a moving object, and cave-ins or safety measures are commonly overlooked. rock falls (ILO 1999:19). The biggest health risks Even where those concerned are motivated to take and are: exposure to dust (silicosis); mercury and other sustain action improve safety, the necessary resources chemicals; the effects of noise and vibration, poor are too often lacking (ILO 1999). ventilation (heat, humidity, lack of oxygen), and over- exertion; inadequate work space, and inappropriate Few, if any, small mines have facilities for medical care. equipment (ibid). Apart from workers in government-owned or controlled mines there is no regular health screening of small- Other commonplace health issues include poor scale miners, and attendance at hospitals and clinics sanitation and lack of clean water, malaria, typhoid, generally only follows serious injury or illness. dysentery, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV/AIDS), malnutrition, and substance abuse. These can reach epidemic proportions when make-shift camps arise for rush mining. ASM for gold is the world’s second worst mercury Poor regulation and poverty means that few miners polluter, responsible for one-quarter to one-third of consider mercury pollution, especially from gold global mercury pollution (Siegel and Veiga 2010:273). processing, where profits are high. ASM releases 640–1350 tonnes of mercury a year Processing gold ore using mercury is an easy one from at least 70 countries. On average, 350 tonnes person job that is highly effective under field conditions. enter the atmosphere. The rest is released into the Miners most often say that they use mercury because it hydrosphere (rivers, lakes, soils, tailings) (Telmer and produces quick wins for daily subsistence (Ban Toxics Veiga 2009). 2010:20). Mercury is discarded in tailings and released when Mercury tends to be highly accessible and extremelyEnvironmental issues gold–mercury amalgam is burnt during processing. cheap compared to the price the gold is sold for. The Mercury impairs brain function, damaging coordination alternatives are not as easy to use, are more expensive and memory, lowering intelligence, and causing and usually less accessible. hearing loss, birth defects and miscarriages (Ban Many miners are not aware of the risks to health and the Toxics 2010:14). The risks are therefore heightened for environment or alternative technologies. Many have no pregnant women, children and babies. choice of alternatives. Mercury is usually traded illegally/ informally on the black market. ASM’s other environmental impacts include erosion Much ASM is for subsistence and is driven by and deforestation of protected areas, biodiversity immediate concerns rather than a view to the long loss and water pollution from dumped tailings, alluvial term consequences of activities. Miners often lack the river damage, acid rock drainage, river siltation. resources, knowledge and/or the requirement to work in These have knock on effects for health: contaminated an environmentally sensitive manner. As much of ASM drinking water, stagnant water that attracts mosquitos, is informal, regulators have little influence in enforcing increasing malaria etc. good environmental practice. I 9
  18. 18. Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining I What we know about the structural causes or How the impact or problem is expressed challenges Illicit activities, smuggling and exploitation in the trade Miners often work outside of the legal, or formal, system of minerals is commonplace in many ASM activities. which makes them vulnerable to exploitation in trade. Artisanal and small-scale miners sometimes receive as Poverty means product is sold quickly and the best little as 70 per cent of the internationally agreed price of price is not always secured. gold. Income is often squandered and debt financing is Miners rarely undertake value-adding activities because common. of restrictions on finance and investment. ASM trading chains are extremely complex and Informal organisations for economic activity aren’t sometimes illegal. The sector is seen as disorganised recognised by policymakers. Attempts to suppress Economic issues and chaotic. Middlemen can be exploitative. There are ASM often forces these activities ‘underground’. In high transaction costs of getting a product to market. cases where the government is the only official buyer ASM activities are rarely taxed, meaning huge revenue of minerals, miners may be able to get more money by losses to the government and country from key natural smuggling the product out of the country or trading resources. illegally. Miners suffer geographical marginalisation without access to basic transport, infrastructure and equipment. Increasing consumer standards are placing additional barriers on already high entry into legal markets. ASM miners are poorly equipped to respond to these challenges due to insecure land rights, limited or no financial resources, inability to access credit and limited financial skills. Conflict minerals are used by armed groups to fund The structural challenges leading to conflict minerals violence and insurrection. So called “conflict minerals” include institutional weaknesses, government include cassiterite (the ore for tin), coltan (the ore for a corruption, easy transportability of minerals and rare metal called tantalum), wolframite (tungsten ore), numerous buyers in complex trading chains. High and gold. demand and rising prices for these conflict minerals are In the Kivu regions of the Democratic Republic driven by increasing demand for consumer electronics. of Congo (DRC), quasi-dictatorships have been Government corruption in in these areas is rife. Official established in areas where ‘rebel’ groups dominate and government troops in the Kivu regions are involved in natural resource exploitation allows these groups to the exploitation and trade of resources and as such of further their political goals. the population. Local populations become more vulnerable and are The central DRC government has little control over the often displaced by ‘rebel’ groups. They are subject to region and citizens are left with no recourse to justice. violence, forced labour and taxation. The UN reports Increasing standards and requirements placed Governance issues massacres and the burning down of villages in order on minerals coming out of the DRC risks further to seize artisanally mined coltan in the Kivu regions marginalisation of poor communities that aren’t able to (UNHCR 2010:para 743). access formal markets (see above). Systemic violence, particularly sexual, is endemic. Women and children are abducted from streets, schools, refugee camps and their own homes and forced into armed groups (Kim 2006:7). Rebel groups levy taxes on miners in the area leading to debt bondage and slave labour. The problems seen in the case of conflict minerals In cases of ‘rush mining’, a rapid increase in population can be replicated in many mine sites where security can overpower existing formal or traditional security is poor. This includes problems of prostitution, theft, structures in the community (ICMM et al. 2009). nuisance vandalism and armed conflict. Where different types of ASM operate – with both migrant and local communities, permanent, seasonal and rush miners – it can be difficult to identify leaders on whom communities can rely for law enforcement. Poor legal protection and land rights often lead to disputes over ownership and access to minerals.10 I IIED
  19. 19. Section 2: Using knowledge to meet ASM challenges2: Using knowledge to meet ASM challenges contrast, working with local communities to identify how they2.1  What is the role of knowledge? use mercury, and the incentives, benefits and challengesThe previous section explored some of the challenges as they perceive them, is an example of collecting citizenfacing the ASM sector and highlighted the need for better knowledge to feed into policymaking.understanding. This section begins to map out how those This example also demonstrates the difference between top-needs might be met, bearing in mind two underlying down and bottom-up knowledge flows — a distinction that hasquestions: where are the gaps in the current knowledge long been debated in development literature, with differentbase that hinder ASM policymakers when making well- schools favouring different approaches (see Box 3).informed, well-reasoned judgments? and does the way inwhich knowledge informs policy represent the range of sectorstakeholders and the different values they may hold? Box 3: ‘Top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’Good knowledge is the basis for good development Top-down approaches tend to use external leadershipinterventions. People take action when they feel empowered and resources to plan, implement and evaluateto do so, and they feel empowered when they have knowledge development programmes (Macdonald 1995) — and arewhich is relevant to the context and the practical realities of the epitome of policy processes that prioritise research-the situation. Achieving this aim is the basis for a knowledge based knowledge or practice-informed knowledge fromprogramme. ‘experts’ in the public or private sector. Bottom-up approaches tend to include comprehensive Box 2: Defining ‘policy’ community participation, motivate local communities, expand learning opportunities in the community, improve The term ‘policy’ in this paper refers not just to public local resource management, increase communication and policy but also private sector and civil society policy. information exchange, and ensure local access to finances Public sector policy refers to the laws and legislation, and resources for development needs (Blanchard 1988). guidelines and approaches adopted by government. These approaches therefore explicitly incorporate and Private sector policy is as important, however, in affecting in some cases prioritise citizen knowledge and practice- change on the ground and refers to the values, methods, informed knowledge from organisations and individuals approaches and guidelines adopted by companies. operating ‘on the ground’. Those who follow this approach The same definition holds for policies adopted and highlight the benefits as greater community empowerment implemented by NGOs. and solutions that are better suited to local realities and demands (and are therefore more successful).In developing such a programme it is important to recognisemany different types of knowledge and that these represent Innovative and effective policy solutions will need topeople’s experiences and values — truly objective knowledge incorporate ASM community (or ‘citizen’) knowledge on localis a rare thing. This knowledge has different ways of flowing realities, pull in practice-informed knowledge of what has andand of influencing policy. The table below outlines three types hasn’t worked, and use research-based knowledge whereof knowledge and the ways they may influence policy. highly political issues require greater simplicity or independent views.Finding alternatives to mercury can serve as an example thatputs these knowledge types into an ASM context. Some But knowledge is insufficient on its own. Influencing policyapproaches rely solely on research-based knowledge — — both public and private sector — requires knowledge to beexperts in a lab identify alternative solutions and develop shared and communicated. ‘Knowledge intermediaries’ playtechnologies that are then handed to local communities. By this role, for example, by establishing knowledge networks. I 11
  20. 20. Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining ITable 3: Different types of knowledge Knowledge Type Description Influence on policy Research-based Held by scientists, academics or professional Helps clarify complex or highly politicised knowledge researchers. Based on empirical observation, issues. High credibility where the research usually written down in publications, reports and methods are seen as reliable and journal articles. Not completely independent of the transferable to a range of contexts. values and assumptions of the researcher. Can be inaccessible to a broader audience because of high technical content and the way in which it is presented. Practice-informed Held by NGOs, companies and consultants. Based Helps decide and situate actions and knowledge on hands-on experience of what does and doesn’t ideas within logistical, ideological or work. Can be in written form (evaluations and management constraints — ‘the realities annual reporting for example) and formally shared in of implementation’. Often, the process is meetings. But largely tacit in institutional memories, informal; too much codification can make it ways of working, precedents and relationships meaningless and irrelevant. Its strength is its between individuals. Informed by the values and application to and understanding of certain objectives of the organisation and the individual. contexts and situations Citizen or lay Held by local people and their representative Invaluable in understanding local opinions knowledge organisations. Based on experiences, beliefs and and values and in testing ideas for local values. Often held as ‘social capital’ – inherently relevance and application. Getting this tacit and best communicated through speaking or knowledge into policymaking requires active engagement on a particular issue. Shared ongoing and inclusive discussions and other through the use of a particular language, lived participatory processes. experiences and everyday interactions. Can be highly subjective and heavily influenced by prevailing power structures and taboos that obscure the real issues. Highly context-specific so not always relevant to an international level or other contexts.Source: Adapted from Jones et al. 2012Knowledge intermediaries: A knowledge intermediary is an ■■ ensure that little-known or little-understood ideas are moreindividual or organisation whose actions link knowledge with widely understood;policy (Jones et al. 2012:xi). This role can be played in multiple ■■ provide members with the resources, capacities and skillsways and Section 2.3 gives examples. An intermediary they need to effect policy change through knowledge;complements its own skills and resources with those available ■■ bring together multiple stakeholders;within a network. An organisation like IIED can play the roleof a knowledge intermediary by, for example, offering a space ■■ build a community of shared values and standards; andwhere a range of knowledge holders can combine knowledge ■■ help members carry out their activities more effectively andtowards a shared aim. IIED recognises that it has little to offer learn from their peers (adapted from Mendizabal 2006 inon the realities of local situations – citizen knowledge – but Jones et al. 2012:67).can offer research-based knowledge (and to some extent Networks are especially effective where the problem andpractice-informed knowledge) to provide a framework for its range of solutions are unclear. They can target particularsharing knowledge on a particular need or context. knowledge gaps or ensure a better flow of knowledge toKnowledge Networks: Knowledge intermediaries act influence policy. The foundations for establishing a knowledgethrough ‘knowledge networks’ to facilitate cooperation network should be assessing the stock of knowledge,and coordination between individuals with knowledge on a understanding how it flows and responds to demand, andparticular topic. Networks: finding the most effective spaces in which it can influence policy.■■ help members find their way through often unmanageable amounts of information;12 I IIED
  21. 21. Section 2: Using knowledge to meet ASM challenges2.2  Mapping knowledge and policy in companies, local and international civil society, researchers and international finance institutions.the ASM sector Marginalisation and lack of organisation in ASM communities2.2.1  The stock of ASM knowledge prevents miners collectively engaging in policy discussions,There is a large amount of high quality practice-informed and means citizen knowledge rarely reaches policymakersknowledge in the ASM sector that has not necessarily been at all (with some exceptions in Latin America where national-written down or publicly shared. This knowledge is held by level mining associations have successfully influencedprivate sector, public sector and civil society. It could be put to policy change (see for example Chilmaza and Rivas 2009).good use if captured effectively using reliable and transferable Marginalisation is compounded by the remoteness of manyresearch methods across the diverse range of stakeholders in mine sites. Many people’s jobs may be precarious, makingthe sector. However, there is currently no way of systematically them reluctant to speak out (an aspect of their ‘vulnerability’).capturing this knowledge and providing spaces where it can Supply chains may be relatively ‘closed’ with financiers havingbe shared and fed into policy decision making. significant control of production and pricing. These realities foster a distrust of outsiders, who are seen as prying intoThe World Bank’s CASM programme helped pool such mining practices. The national fora for engaging ASM areknowledge over the past 10 years through annual international weak, again due to marginalisation and preference that isconferences, networking, and by funding research and often given to large-scale mining investments. At the otherproviding a database of research and reports. Stakeholders end of the spectrum, are large institutions, such as theinvolved in the network point to the conferences as CASM’s World Bank, which have a far higher degree of influencemost effective actions, as they convened key actors from the on policymakers, particularly those in the public sector.miner to the international policymaker, showcased innovative Private sector policymakers tend to rely more on the advicesolutions, and let participants share experiences. But the of consultants (categorised here as practice-informedCASM online database of research and reports (at www. knowledge) but this knowledge is not always shared andartisanalmining.org) is hard to navigate and use and there was made publicly available.no systematic follow up to capture the shared information fromconferences. As CASM has now concluded its knowledge Certainly, knowledge flows are not coordinated in the ASMand network programme, there is no organisation playing this sector, particularly now the CASM programme has scaledglobal role. back. There are few policy champions and ASM is still perceived to be an illegitimate sector.LSM companies and their consultants also hold a stock ofpractice-informed knowledge focussing on solutions to LSM- Thus, the weaknesses in the existing flows of knowledge forASM interactions. This stock of knowledge — covering a range policy making in ASM can be summarised as:of issues and solutions from getting miners into alternative ■■ little citizen knowledge flowing in, which perpetuateslivelihoods to technical assistance, formalisation and poor understanding of both structural challenges and theemployment of the ASM sector — is not always made public livelihood opportunities ASM offers;because of its contractual basis. ■■ insufficient coordination and formalisation of inputs acrossOnly a limited amount of citizen knowledge has been captured the knowledge types;for policy processes — particularly from ASM communities ■■ poor accessibility and visibility of knowledge and itsthemselves. This is a significant gap and as a result ASM impacts; andsolutions tend to be top-down rather than ‘bottom-up’. This ■■ failure to maximise opportunities for synergies in bothundermines their chances of success. For example, providing knowledge/ understanding and practice in influencingeducation services without incentives or opportunities for policy improvements.alternative income generation has been unsuccessful intackling child labour in ASM (Hilson 2005). By contrast, 2.2.3  Demand for ASM knowledgeinterventions that consider the structural causes of child When it comes to demand for knowledge, different actorslabour have greater success. For example, interventions engage with different and separate issues, restricting both thethat establish social services, improve technology or health flow and stock of knowledge.and safety, provide incentives for micro-enterprise that NGOs, such as Global Witness and WWF, focus ongenerate income, or alternative employment for women, have issues of child labour, human rights, and the environment.successfully reduced child labour (ILO 2005: 20). This knowledge can be heavily value-laden and overriddenFinally, there is a small group of researchers and academics with an advocacy agenda. Consultants tend to be hired byworking on ASM issues, but they tend to focus on particular large-scale mining companies to undertake research on theirissues in particular geographies. Research-based knowledge interactions and conflicts with ASM. They generally focustends therefore to be highly context specific and not on conflict minimisation and security, managing reputationalnecessarily active or successful in influencing policy. risk, maximising community development opportunities, and meeting pressure for corporate accountability and2.2.2  The flow of ASM knowledge maximisation of company benefit — such as explorationThe key knowledge holders in the ASM sector are artisanal benefits and improved mine closure planning (ICMM et al.miners and their communities, mineral processors and 2009:12). National governments demand technical assistancetraders, local and national government actors, consultants, to realise ASM’s potential and better manage its social I 13

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