Preparatory Phase for the Development of the Gold+ Congo Project Document


Date:  November 2021 – November 2022

Country: Republic of Congo

Donors: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) via the Global Environmental Fund (GEF).

Implementor: Alliance for Responsible Mining


In the Republic of Congo, artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASM) provides a source of income for people who do not have access to formal employment, while being perceived negatively in terms of associated environmental and social impacts. However, impacts on water, soil, air and the forest environment are poorly addressed in the MAPE guidelines, particularly when the activity is semi-mechanised and therefore more destructive to the environment. Similarly, the lack of institutional support keeps artisanal miners in a vicious circle of informality and unproductive and polluting operational practices, while the lack of control of financial and commercial flows by the authorities provides fertile ground for the capitalisation of the sector by informal transnational actors.

Aware of the issues involved in formalising the MAPE sector and reducing risks, particularly environmental risks, the government of Congo signed and then ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and undertook to define a National Action Plan (NAP). This proactivity convinced UNEP and its partners to include the country as one of the beneficiaries of the second phase of the Planet Gold programme, financed by the GEF and focused on the creation of Global Opportunities for the Long-Term Development of the MAPE sector (GOLD+).

As this is a multi-component, multi-stakeholder programme, which needs to ensure both global alignment and integration of country specificities, the steering agencies (UNEP, UNIDO, UNDP, Conversation International), called upon different organisations specialised in the MAPE sector to prepare the national project documents. ARM was selected to lead the preparatory phase of the Congolese project.  


Define the strategy and establish the main documents serving as a reference framework for the implementation of the Gold+ project in the Republic of Congo


The definition of the project strategy starts with a situation’s analyse of the MAPE sector and mercury use in the country, and the identification of the main barriers to the formalisation of the sector. The analysis of challenges and opportunities allows the project to establish its approach, based on a solution tree and a theory of change including the main components of the GOLD+ programme (formalisation of artisanal miners, financial inclusion and supply chains, elimination of mercury, exchange of experience). Special attention is given to the social dimensions, with gender approach as a cross-cutting issue. Stakeholder mobilisation is also central and is mapped to facilitate differentiated engagement during implementation. The project’s logical framework integrates impact indicators, particularly environmental ones, aligned with those of the programme.

Share This