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Background of planetGOLD Philippines Project

The planetGOLD (Global Opportunities for the Long-term Development of the ASGM sector) funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a five-year project designed to address key issues linked to continued mercury use in ASGM communities.

The first phase of the planetGOLD program will help miners in nine countries (Burkina Faso, Colombia, Guyana, Indonesia, Kenya, Mongolia, Peru, Ecuador, and the Philippines) reduce the use of mercury through facilitating access to finance and through the development of sustainable ASGM gold supply chains.


To make small-scale gold mining safer, cleaner, and more profitable.


A clean global supply of gold from small-scale miners.

On 8 April, the planetGOLD Mongolia-Philippines: “Contribution Toward the Elimination of Mercury in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Sector: From Miners to Refiners” was officially launched in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Philippine Partners

The planetGOLD Philippines project is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment), in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). The Artisanal Gold Council (AGC) serves as the executing agency for the project.

To ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the planetGOLD project in the Philippines, The DENR Special Order 2020-530 called for creating a Project Steering Committee (PSC) and Project Management Unit (PMU). The PSC will serve as the project’s decision-making body, while the PMU shall act as the implementing unit. The PSC will be composed of various national government agencies, including the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Health (DOH), Department ofthe Interior and Local Government(DILG), Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and other key stakeholders and relevant organizations.

Project Components

The planetGOLD project aims at contributing to the elimination of mercury in ASGM by applying a value chain approach from miners to refiners. The project has identified four intermediate outcomes with a set of key activities, namely:
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The project aims at supporting both national and local governments to formulate incentives that will be adopted by miners to promote formalization of the ASGM sector. This will be accomplished through building the capacities of ASGM stakeholders and reviewing and ensuring that relevant policies and regulations align with the needs and the capacities of the small-scale mining communities.

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Market Access

The project aims at facilitating access to finance for ASGM communities enabling them to produce gold in a cleaner and more efficient way. The project would also provide market access to ASGM miners by working with national banks andinternational refiners. These efforts will establish a transparent gold supply chain where miners receive a higher price for their gold.


Improved Practices

The project will improve mining practices and miners’ working conditions by promoting mercury free gold processing alternatives. The project will assess specific environmental, health, gender, social, organizational, mining, processing, and value chain characteristics of the project areas. Additionally, the project will build miners’ capacity on legal, administrative, and business management aspects.

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The project aims to improve communication and knowledge management initiatives across ASGM stakeholders by making effective communication mechanisms available, providing valuable information and updates through trade journals and web-based services. These efforts ensure the dissemination of project learnings at the local, national and global levels.

Project Sites

Two project sites were selected during the first PSC meeting conducted on 22 February 2021. The PSC members decided and agreed on implementing the planetGOLD Philippines project in the declared Minahang Bayan within these two areas:

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