Gold is the most valued of metals. Throughout history it has played a key role in global civilizations as a symbol of wealth with unique cultural, spiritual and aesthetic significance for indigenous communities.
Today in developing countries, communities living in extreme poverty rely on artisanal gold mining as their primary means of income, despite the adverse social and environmental impacts that arise from mining practices. Mercury is a toxic element traditionally used to process artisanal gold, and poses direct threats to human and ecosystem health.
Although the recently adopted Minamata Convention on Mercury addresses mercury use in artisanal gold mining, the global community has a long way to go before the dangers of mercury are universally acknowledged. Public education about artisanal gold mining and the risks associated with mercury can raise awareness, minimize impacts on vulnerable populations, and promote mercury-free global supply chains.
Join us for an evening of presentations by leading experts on artisanal gold mining and sustainable development:
- Ancient Alchemy: Mercury and Gold Throughout the Ages
Kirsten Dales and Eliana Jacobs
- Film Screening
Selections from The Salt of the Earth
- Elements Towards a Solution
Kenneth Davis, UNEP Global Mercury Partnership