Even in its informal state, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) make positive contributions to almost all SDGs, and particularly those concerned with
social (SDGs 4, 5 and 10) and economic development (1 and 8), nutrition (2), clean energy, infrastructure, and sustainable cities (7, 9 and 11), adaptation to climate change (13), peace, justice and governance (16), and partnerships (17).
However, ASM also has negative impacts on the majority of the SDGs, and particularly those concerned with human health (SDGs 3 and 6), environment (13, 14 and 15), nutrition (2) social development (4, 5 and to some degree, 10), decent work (8), cleaner production (12), and peace, justice and governance (16).
Depending on the way it is approached, formalization can help mitigate many of ASM’s negative impacts and amplify its positive impacts on the SDGs.
Given the myriad ASM-SDG interlinkages, ASM formalization needs to be planned in an inclusive and comprehensive manner with all 17 SDGs in mind and prioritized as part of post-COVID-19 reconstruction and broader sustainable development efforts.
While the SDGs serve as a useful starting point, it remains essential to analyze ASM in relation to national and regional development priorities and integrate the sector into associated policy frameworks.