Understanding and improving policy and regulatory responses to artisanal and small scale mining
Embargoed until: 2018-11-01
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Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) constitutes an important and growing component of the global economy. It has the potential to create livelihoods for people who have few other income earning opportunities, and to retain within national economies a large share of the wealth it creates. At the same time its potential negative environmental and social impacts are considerable. Given this combination of characteristics, ASM richly deserves to be a focus of policy and regulatory effort by the states in which it occurs. There is unfortunately little sign of such effort. ASM is often ignored by politicians and regulators. When it does attract their focus, policy tends to be inconsistent over time and characterised by wide discrepancies between legislation, policy rhetoric and policy practice. This article uses a heuristic model to illustrate key features of existing policy and regulatory responses, and to identify the basis for a more coherent and effective response. It argues that such a response must be focused on the local or regional level because it is here that knowledge exists regarding the realities of ASM on the ground, and because national governments lack capacity for effective regulation in the remote areas where ASM often occurs.
The Extractive Industries and Society
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Economic Development Policy