Strengthening the enabling framework for small and medium scale gold-ming in Guyana and uptake of practices to reduce BD loss, mercury use, deforestation and forest degradation

Lead country


Participating countries


Project status


Project start date

December 1, 2019

SDGs addressed by this project

SDG targets

  1. 12.2 Sustainably manage, efficiently use natural resources
  2. 12.a Build developing country capacity on sustainable consumption, production
  3. 15.b Mobilize resources, incentives for sustainable forest management

Project ID: 5763

*The boundaries shown and the designations used on the above map and included in lists, tables and documents on this website do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations or UNDP | References to Kosovo* shall be understood to be in the context of UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).

Technical team

  • Ecosystems and Biodiversity Programme

Technical area(s)

  • Ecosystem management and restoration
  • Mainstreaming biodiversity


  • Ecosystem-based mitigation
  • Ecosystem-based adaptation


  • Forests
  • Human altered areas
  • FreshWaters


  • General
  • Mining sites

Transformed sector(s)

  • Forestry and other land use
  • Materials and manufacturing
  • Metals and Mining

UNDP role(s)

  • Capacity development / Technical assistance


  • Governance
  • Management operation
  • Capacity building


  • Institutional framework
  • Sustainable land management
  • Ecosystem and ecosystem services conservation/restoration
  • Institutional capacity building
  • Community capacity building

Social inclusion

  • Local community/CSOs

Gender equality


Gender result effectiveness scale



  • Systems pathway
  • Sci-tech pathway

Risk reduction target(s)

  • Hazard control/mitigation
  • Reduce exposure

SDG target(s)

  • 12.2 Sustainably manage, efficiently use natural resources
  • 12.a Build developing country capacity on sustainable consumption, production
  • 15.b Mobilize resources, incentives for sustainable forest management

Conventions and protocols

  • Other Global Conventions
  • Minamata Convention on Mercury
  • National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs)

Private sector(s)

  • Individuals/Entrepreneurs

Hot topic

  • Structural/system transformation
  • Food and agricultural commodities strategy
  • Nature-based solution

Project description

The objective of the proposed project is to strengthen the regulatory framework and institutional capacity for the management of small-scale gold mining and promote greater adoption of environmentally responsible mining techniques in Guyana in order to protect globally significant biodiversity, reduce mercury contamination, enhance local livelihoods and human health. The project seeks to improve the environmental management of small scale gold mining in Guyana which is the largest driver of deforestation and degradation in the country and contributes to biodiversity loss, land degradation and contamination. To do so, the project has been organized into four outcomes: 1) Policy and regulatory framework strengthened and supported for oversight of the environmental impacts of the small -scale gold mining sector; 2) Increased institutional capacity and inter-institutional coordination to mitigate and manage the impacts of small -scale gold- mining; 3) Adoption of more environmentally responsible gold mining practices increased; and 4) Knowledge management, monitoring and evaluation implemented to support learning and upscaling. Expected global impacts include: a a) 6,500,000 hectares of forests of the greenstone belt in six mining districts under improved management to protect globally significant biodiversity through support to the implementation of the National Mineral Sector Policy Framework and Actions which seek to balance mineral development with other priorities such as BD conservation, protection of watersheds and freshwater, preservation of carbon stocks and socio-economic development (overall project impact); b) phase-out of 10.2 metric tonnes of mercury in project intervention areas; c) 1,235 miners (10% are women) implementing environmentally responsible mining practices reducing mercury use, deforestation and safety and occupational threats, and increasing gold recovery and incomes; d) 1,209 hectares of high conservation value forests conserved in project intervention areas through improved prospecting; e) 445 hectares of forests and forest land restored in areas degraded by mining in demonstration project sites; and f) 8,032 persons benefited through awareness raising, training and reduced exposure to mercury: 1,499 miners (10% women), 2,178 Mahdia residents (42% women); 4,355 indigenous peoples (50% women).These benefits will translate into direct benefits for various species, many of which are globally significant, including endemic and endangered species as well as species of economic importance to local communities and indigenous peoples.

USD $4,680,338

Grant amount

USD $29,675,759

Leveraged amount (co-financing)


Source(s) of fund

Sources of fund


  • Global Environment Facility – Trust Fund ($4,680,338)

Implementing partner(s)

  • Environmental Protection Agency

Related resources

Geospatial information

Discover relevant spatial data related to this project/country/region, powered by UN BiodiversityLab

Project reports and documentation