Authorities of the Ministry of Land Mines and Energy (MLME) over the weekend launched the Artisanal Mining (ASM) Sector, to monitor and provide technical support to the sector.
The ceremony was held at a resort in Monrovia, with several stakeholders, among them local miners, in attendance.
Accordingly, the regulatory roadmap serves as a conceptual and technical strategy that outlines how the MLME will implement the country’s Artisanal Mining Formalization Program.
Stephen B. Dorbor, MLME Deputy Minister for Planning, who performed the formal launch of the program, said the roadmap ensures that sector interventions address the real needs of mining stakeholders. The ministry adopted a participatory and demand-driven approach to policy formulation by marking the beginning of an innovative and transparent dialogue between the Liberian government and artisanal mining stakeholders.
According to Mr. Dobor, the launch became necessary following extensive data collection from five mining counties. The ministry also held four county-level consultations with over 500 artisanal mining stakeholders from 13 of the 15 counties in November and December 2015, and in February and March 2016.
“MLME has already begun formalizing the sector. Artisanal mining stakeholders have provided direct policy recommendations to the government to improve the sector,” Mr. Dorbor explained.
The Regulatory Roadmap for the artisanal mining sector was prepared by stakeholders in close consultation and cooperation with the MLME and GIZ, a German-based international organization.
The program was funded by German Cooperation, Australian Aid and implemented by GIZ.
Friday’s launch brought together representatives from international donors, including the United Nations Development Program, World Bank, USAID, and International Monetary Fund. Others represented the Environmental Protection Agency, Cooperative Development Agency and the Liberia Revenue Authority.
GIZ Country Manager, Madam Juliane Weymann, who underscored the importance of the program, also expressed gratitude for the support her organization provided to the MLME in the formulation of the regulatory roadmap.
She urged that the process continue to meet its desire of decentralization, even by the time GIZ has finished her support.
Aloycious Kotee, EPA’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Manager, expressed serious reservations about the use of excavators in the artisanal mining sector, which he said has serious impact that needs to be addressed by stakeholders.