Supporting Technical Training for Extractive Industries in Guyana

Countries

Guyana

Focus Area

Transforming
Artisanal and Small-scale Mining

Status

Completed

sustainable development goals

Budget

USD $290,000.00 / CAD $313,465.00

Funders

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Who Benefits

Direct

Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC)

Indirect

Guyanese artisanal miners, mining communities

Ultimate

The people of Guyana, particularly those living in mining regions

Delivery Partners

Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC)

Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (Guyana)

University of British Columbia

The Challenge

Within the last decade, Guyana has made two bold, progressive moves toward sustainable development – introducing a Low Carbon Development Strategy (2009) and signing the Minamata Convention on Mercury (2013) – knowing that it must overcome significant obstacles to live up to its commitments.

The country’s extractives sector, particularly gold mining, is an important engine of economic growth for Guyana. It also drives deforestation and, through its artisanal and small-scale gold mining activity, contributes to mercury pollution. Guyana’s challenge is to support its extractives sector while also ensuring that its economic growth is aligned with mercury-free, low-carbon development.

CIRDI's Approach

 

Approximately 20,000 people in Guyana are employed by mining-related activity, with almost all of the sector’s yield delivered by small- and medium-scale mining operations. Many of these operators require improved skills and knowledge to reduce the negative impacts of their activities while increasing their production yields.

In collaboration with the Government of Guyana and the IDB, CIRDI embarked on a program to develop and deliver locally relevant technical skills courses for Guyanese workers that will contribute to more sustainable mining practices. The CIRDI program focused on promoting technical skills upgrading to government employees who work directly with the miners. Through a “train-the-trainers” approach, this training aimed to achieve sustainable outcomes by leaving a legacy of qualified instructors after the conclusion of the project.

 

Project Details

This project included a review of existing initiatives and technology and possible synergies to determine needs for training delivery. Field visits to mine sites allowed the CIRDI team to assess the most appropriate and effective technology and tailor effective practices for each area. Training curriculum was designed and delivered in close collaboration with relevant stakeholders to help guarantee the training closely matched industry needs to mitigate environmental risks and increase environmental sustainability.

Training programs were delivered in-country and primarily targeted staff of the government departments who work directly with the artisanal and small-scale gold miners. Training topics included:

  • Reducing mercury use and implementation of mercury-free technologies
  • Health and safety in mining and processing
  • Environmental management
  • Business and financial management
  • Training pedagogy for officers and field staff

Following the training program, a seven-country scoping study produced profiles of ASGM sectors in the Latin America and Caribbean region to inform partnerships and initiatives on environmentally and socially responsible practices.

Cross-cutting Themes

Gender

  • Twenty-five per cent of trainees were women and included members of the Guyana Women Miners Organization. Training programs included requisite skills training on health and safety.

Environment

  • Trainees received skills in environmental management, particularly in reducing mercury use in ASGM.

Governance

  • This training program enhanced the capacity of the Government of Guyana to respond to a variety of challenges related to the national ASGM sector.

Impact

This project increased Guyana’s human capital by strengthening local capabilities in natural resource governance. Through curricula development and course delivery, CIRDI promoted technical skills upgrading specifically related to greener and sustainable mining practices among the local labor force in Guyana.

A detailed needs assessment provided important background and baseline data used to develop training sessions that reached a total of 44 trainees from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), related agencies and several NGOs. A more intensive 5-day training program improved the capacity of 26 government officers to engage with and improve practices of miners.

A regional scoping study profiled and compared the ASGM sectors of seven countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (Brazil, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname, Panama) and identified potential for regional collaboration to decrease the environmental footprint of ASGM. The report identifies skills gaps that contribute to environmental damage and impede environmental compliance. It also investigates potential capacity building initiatives and training models that can applied across the region.

Sustainable Development Goals – Project Contributions

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Training included improved mining and mineral processing techniques to increase profit margins and improve economic opportunities in the Guyanese ASGM sector.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Developed training curriculum to introduce miners to alternative mineral processing methods to reduce exposure to dangerous levels of mercury.

Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

A ‘train-the-trainers’ approach to institutional capacity development improves long-term sustainability by leaving a legacy of qualified instructors.

Partnerships for the Goals

Data was collected by an ASGM scoping study to inform sector-wide trans-national action on ASGM in the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

project team

resources

updates and news

CIRDI Facilitates Two Panels on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining at IGF

Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is the focus of the 2017 AGM of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF), held October 16-20 in Geneva. CIRDI […]

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