This World Gorilla Day, we're pleased to share a publication and video on the relationship between Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) and ape conservation.
The publication, State of the Apes: Extractive Industries and Ape Conservation, was published in 2014 by Arcus Foundation, a charitable foundation focused on issues related to great apes & gibbons conservation, LGBT rights, and social justice.
Levin Sources Director Estelle Levin-Nally contributed to the chapter Artisanal and small-scale mining and apes. The chapter addresses ASM in protected areas and critical ecosystems (PACE); the policy and regulation of ASM; case studies of ASM in ape habitats with a focus on central Africa, and mitigation strategies.
Key findings from the case studies included:
- The presence of ASM in PACE can have a devastating impact on local biodiversity, and thus apes, through obvious, direct activities such as: habitat destruction, degradation and fragmentation, and indirect impacts like water pollution, soil removal, and the increase in hunting pressure that accompanies migration to mining sites.
- ASM activities increase the risk of the spread of diseases to ape populations due to poor sanitation and hygiene, and zoonotic disease transmission from animal to human due to increased contact through habitat intrusion.
- The role of Large-scale Mining (LSM) as a magnet in drawing ASM into PACE is complex and misunderstood and requires further investigation.
To promote the publication and explain how addressing the impacts of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining occurring in protected areas and critical ecosystems can aid in the conservation of apes, Estelle was interviewed for a short film:
The chapter Artisanal and small-scale mining and apes is available to download and read here.
The full publication, State of the Apes: Extractive Industries and Ape Conservation, can be downloaded and read here.