CSF is developing economic tools and incentives for reducing the ecological impacts of artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) in Ecuador. ASM is the primary method of gold extraction in Ecuador, which is Latin America’s 4th largest gold producer, and represents an important source of income for Ecuadorians. However, ASM also often leads to the destruction of stream habitats and the release of toxic heavy metals into the water system. By estimating the economic effects of targeting regulation at key processes in the supply chain, we aim to inform current projects and regulations, and incentivize better practices and relationships among economic actors. Using policy-relevant indicators, this analysis will illustrate how different supply-chain scenarios compare in terms of costs and benefits. The results of this work will provide data-supported information to develop policy to decrease the environmental impacts of the ASM sector and promote a more sustainable development path.
This project is one of several UNDP Targeted Scenario Analyses (TSAs) being implemented by CSF. TSAs are designed to “capture and present the value of ecosystem services within decision making, to help make the business case for sustainable policy and investment choices.” (1)
Photo: Panning for gold on the Napo River, Ecuador
Photo Credit: Ksenia Ragozina/ Shutterstock.com