The World Wide Fund for Nature
Seeks one (1) Consultant,
To carry out an Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Study in TRIDOM:
Assessing the Potential Impacts around the Periphery of the Nki National Park and the Ngoyla Mintom Forest Block
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is one of the largest independent conservation organizations in the world. WWF is an international NGO committed to environmental protection. The global conservation organization, active in almost 100 countries, has been working in the Congo Basin in Central Africa for more than 20 years. Our mission is to stop the environmental degradation in the world and build a future where humans live in harmony with nature.
Duration of Study: Two (02) Months
I. Context and Justification:
While Cameroon is putting a lot of emphasis in developing its mineral potential through large scale mining, artisanal and small scale (ASM) – an aged old practice in Cameroon traced to the colonial years is increasing in an unprecedented rate. This activity in certain parts of Cameroon especially in the Southeast and Adamawa regions is considered a main source of livelihood for majority of the population. While in the past decades ASM has been practiced in areas mostly outside areas considered as ecologically pristine, in recent years the activity is spreading in priority ecological and biodiversity zones like protected areas and forest reserves. The major mined minerals using ASM methods are gold, diamond, quarries and precious stones. In Cameroon, while there is no ASM specific law, the 2001 Mining Code makes provisions for ASM through the issuance of prospection cards.
Taking ASM as basis of communities’ livelihoods, the government of Cameroon within its Poverty Reduction strategy created the Small Scale Mining Support and Promotion Framework Unit (CAPAM) under the Ministry in charge of Mines. As a HIPC funded project, CAPAM was created to correct the informality excesses of the sector by channeling mining of resources like gold, rutile, etc. into the formal channels, strengthen the gold reserves of the country, support, organize and manage artisanal miners, contribute to the improvement of geological and mining information, contribute to the improvement of the population and recover and process mining products. However, CAPAM’s mission does not seem to focus on the environmental impacts of ASM. ASM activities can generate a range of negative issues related to its operations and these are primarily associated with social and environmental impacts with frequently raised concerns about miners’ health and safety including the vulnerable position of children working in mines; poverty traps and dependence; conflicts over land and resettlement mainly between government, small scale miners, large scale operations and the local population who practice agriculture at the same site and environmental impacts (water and air pollution) river and dam siltation, unrecovered open pits and loss of biodiversity (deforestation, over-ﬁshing and poaching).
Another emerging trend in the ASM sector in Cameroon is the increasing presence of foreigners especially from Asia (Chinese, Indians, Koreans, etc.). The coming of these new actors is motivated to an extent by both governments’ initiatives to promote the mechanization of the ASM sector. While the Cameroonian mining law provides that permits for ASM can only be issued to nationals, the lack of appropriate finance and skills has led to nationals trading off these permits to foreigners. Though the law allows for the transferability of mining permits it is not clear if such provisions apply to ASM. Whatever the case, the coming of mainly Asian actors in the Cameroon ASM sector is generating a lot of mixed feelings especially from the local communities who have been used to traditional ASM methods and are now with a competitor with huge material and financial means. While there may not be ASM activities by Asian actors in any of WWF priority areas for now but considering that ASM is more dynamic and moves with discovery, it would not be surprising if in the nearest future they finally move into protected areas as the case in Bouba Ndjida National Park in northern Cameroon.
One of the mineral resources that have attracted lot of attention is gold, estimated to engage about 15,000 small-scale artisanal miners, mostly in the Eastern part of the country. Despite the potential economic importance of artisanal mining to improve the welfare of the local communities there are range of negative issues related to its operations. While primarily these are associated with environmental and social impacts including the health of the miners and vulnerable position of children working in the mines, other impacts lead to poverty traps and dependence as the population increases its reliance on mining, and accentuating the conflicts over land and resettlement. Well known environmental impacts associated with ASM are water and air pollution (from metals and chemicals such as mercury for gold amalgamation), river and dam siltation, uncovered open pits and loss of biodiversity (deforestation, over-fishing, and poaching).
II. Study Area:
This study shall focus on the Cameroon segment of the TRIDOM landscape which comprises the Dja Biosphere Reserve, the Nki and Boumba Bek National Parks as well as the Ngoyla Mintom Forest Block which serves as a connecting corridor for the entire landscape. The primary biodiversity values of the area are its intact assemblages of large forest mammals such as forest elephant, western gorilla, bongo, forest buffalo, giant forest hog, leopard and mandrill in the northwest. Furthermore, the large mammals, and especially elephants, are still able to range widely along age-old migration routes that often cross national boundaries. A peculiarity of the TRIDOM landscape is its emergence as a potential iron ore province in Central Africa with several iron ore exploration permits issued in all the three countries. There is little information publicly available on ASM in the Cameroon segment of the TRIDOM. A CIFOR – IUCN Study in 2009 found out that in the TNS landscape there are two types of miners – diggers who dig shallow pits and divers who scoop sand and soil from the Sangha River. A major phenomenon observed in the TRIDOM Cameroon segment is the ethnic diversity of miners due largely to the cross boarder movement of the population. Considering the fact that CAPAM has not had any formal penetration in this landscape (CAPAM activities are largely concentrated in the East region), all minerals extracted in this landscape are usually sold unprocessed. Like in TNS, the artisanal miners are not organized and have little bargaining power, thus they largely remain price takers vis-a-vis their sponsors or traders.
It has been demonstrated erstwhile that ASM while its impact on the environment maybe relatively small to the impact of other illicit activities such as logging, subsistence farming or charcoal production. The IUCN-CIFOR report found little environmental impacts from ASM activities in the region. However, the most significant impact is that it brings people and food supplies to remote places in the forest. This is usually accompanied by some subsistence bush meat hunting and very often ASM camps are used as a base for elephant poaching. While it is possible to have traditional ASM coexist with biodiversity conservation, it is important that the camps and access ways are not used for commercial hunting or elephant poaching.
III. Study Rationale:
WWF through its Green Heart of Africa Programme is keen in promoting responsible extractive industries that balance the development needs of the countries of the Congo Basin and conservation of biodiversity. The Organization recognizes that artisanal mining is an important source of income for many communities in the region but that it also contributes in destroying and degrading the forest through habitat destruction, the use of toxic chemicals such as mercury, pollution of waterways etc. In the past years WWF in a joint initiative with Estelle Levin Ltd a specialized consultancy undertook a global study of ASM taking place in or adjacent to the world’s most important ecosystems. This initiative known as ASM-PACE aimed at developing several tools and guides to help governments, conservation organizations, large-scale mining operations and other stakeholders understand and respond to the growth of ASM in critical ecosystems.
This particular study though not part of this initiative, shall build on the key findings of the different studies on ASM-PACE and provide an opportunity for WWF Cameroon Country Programme Office to initiate a framework of collaboration with artisanal miners around its priority zones (TRIDOM) as well as with the Small-scale mining support framework unit at the MINIMIDT. Such collaboration shall provide the possibility of initiating discussions on how best to support ASM activities using known best international practices as well as to approach ASM from a strictly environmental perspective but rather to see how to demonstrate to miners that changing practices and livelihoods can bring a range of financial, social and environmental benefits.
The presence of certain large scale mining projects (CAMIRON, CAMINEX, CMC) have transformed these communities to essentially monetary societies and with a slowdown in these projects a lot of people formerly employed by mining companies now seek alternative income from ASM.
This study seeks to collect data on the current situation as well as the environmental and social impacts on artisanal mining In the Cameroon segment of the TRIDOM landscape focusing more on the Dja-Mintom corridor (the periphery of the Nki National Park and the Ngoyla Mintom Forest Block)
- Map out all ASM activities along the Dja – Mintom corridor with focus on the periphery of the Nki National Park and the Ngoyla Mintom forest block
- Document (inventory) of environmental impacts on forests and wildlife
- Provide an analysis of the linkage between environmental impacts and livelihood impacts in the study area
- Identify the increasing presence of Asian actors in the ASM in Cameroon and the potential impacts on locals engaged in ASM as well as their social and environmental policies
- Identify opportunities for WWF to work with selected group of Artisanal Miners and CAPAM to promote Environmental and Socio-economic Responsive Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ESER-ASM) schemes
- Advocate for special environmental guidelines for ASM activities in Cameroon
- Describe future trends of ASM activities focusing on the growing or reducing Chinese influence
A detailed analytical report on ASM activities in the Dja-Mintom corridor showing the extent of environmental and social impacts and future trends
A map showing the extent of ASM activities inside the forest block
Identification of opportunities of partnership and collaboration to promote a responsive ASM in Cameroon and propose steps for future WWF engagement
A summary of the report in one of the official languages (English if report is in French and French if full report is in English)
An internal restitution workshop of the study findings
VI. Profile, skills, knowledge and experience required:
At least a Master’s degree in geology, environmental sciences, social sciences or any related discipline
At least 5 years’ experience working on environmental related and natural resources issues
Have a good knowledge on the legal, policy and institutional framework relating to mining, environment, conservation and community development.
Good knowledge of the study area will be an added advantage.
Perfect mastering of technical tools including mapping and good analytical skills
Perfect mastering of either French or English and capacity to work in both languages.
VII. Composition and submission of candidatures
Candidates are required to submit the following;
Curriculum vitae (CV);
A proposal on the methodology to be used to carry out the study with clear indications on the understanding of the Terms of Reference ;
A financial offer indicating the unit price ;
A proposed timeline for the study.
How to apply?
Candidates complete application files need to be submitted to email@example.com
with copy to DHalleson@wwfcarpo.org.
The subject should read 037ASSM.
Only those who meet the requirements will be contacted.
Deadline for applications: February 01st, 2014
Female applicants are encouraged.
WWF is an equal opportunity employer and committed to having a diverse workforce.