Biodiversity Research Institute, in collaboration with Nexus3/Balifokus and other nongovernmental organizations, is leading this three-year project, the purpose of which is to support the Government of Indonesia in restricting mercury supplies, especially for the artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector.
Miners use mercury to extract gold particles that have been ground and liberated from rock. Mercury and gold bind together forming an amalgam. During the amalgamation process, mercury can be released directly into adjacent terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems because of inadequate handling of the liquid mercury. Mercury vapor is also released into the atmosphere when the mercury-gold amalgam is burned. The release of mercury creates a high risk of human exposure and also impacts adjacent terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
Project efforts include:
Photo: Heating the solid mercury-gold amalgam vaporizes the mercury, leaving gold nuggets behind.
The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Integrated Sound Management of Mercury in Indonesia’s Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (ISMIA) Project is part of a Global Opportunities for the Long-term Development of the ASGM Sector (GEF GOLD) programme taking place in eight countries including Indonesia. The red dots identify GEF GOLD sites in Indonesia.
The Inception Workshop was held in Jakarta in July 2019, bringing together collaborators from across Indonesia and the world. Above (left), Dave Evers leads the workshop, and (right) breakout groups work to outline details of the project.
(1) Assist the development of national plans and policy to restrict mercury supplies from primary mining and mercury by-products from oil and gas, and identify secure storage to reduce the availability of mercury. Project team will work with GOI authorities to:
(2) Develop and implement multiple local plans for handling, interim storage, and final storage of mercury and cinnabar ore. The project team will work with GOI authorities to:
(3) Develop and implement approaches to monitor compliance with and effectiveness of national and local plans. The project team will work with GOI authorities to:
Photo: Consumption of fish and other animals connected to mercury emissions and releases of ASGM activities is the primary source of methylmercury exposure for humans.
David Evers, Ph.D.
Biodiversity Research Institute, USA
Other Team Members
IPEN, Lee Bell, Australia
Center for Regulation, Policy, and Governance (CRPG)
Dyah Paramita, Oman
Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GITOC)
Marcena Hunter, Australia
Biodiversity Research Institute
Molly Taylor, USA
Mark Burton, USA
United States Department of State
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
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