The Environment and Forestry Ministry has said that a road map is necessary to eliminate the use of mercury in small-scale gold mining (ASGM), an endeavor that has been initiated through the GOLD-ISMIA project.
The project, a collaboration between the ministry, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), and UNDP, has helped slash mercury use by 23 tons at 6 ASGM sites in about 5 years, director general of solid waste, hazardous waste, and hazardous substances management at the ministry, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, informed.
“For other regions, we actually have to have a road map. If this (GOLD-ISMIA) is to be extended, we have to make a road map,” she stressed.
She asked stakeholders from several sectors to assist in mapping ASGM areas where mercury use must be reduced and determine the ones that need to be prioritized.
“Without planning, without a road map, with each situation and condition, we will not be able to proceed,” she said.
Under the National Action Plan for Mercury Reduction and Elimination, the government is targeting to completely eliminate the use of mercury in the ASGM sector by 2025.
Ratnawati highlighted the role that business players and regional governments can play in encouraging more miners to refrain from using mercury in ASGM areas.
“If we look at models like this, we can then involve companies, for example, initially a state-owned company that manages gold, to then partnering with miners,” she said.
She urged regional governments, especially those that are already covered by the GOLD-ISMIA project, to not stop making efforts to reduce the use of gold in ASGM, even after the project is concluded.
“I ask the regional government not to stop when this project is finished. Please maintain sustainability and adherence to laws and regulations,” she added.
Source: Antara News