Midterm Review Improving Environmental Management in the Mining Sector of Suriname, with Emphasis on Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining
Project Progress Summary
- The project is significantly off track. No real progress on any outcome can be found, except for some initial work on the MTECS. The project still faces serious delays in initiating the main project activities even if 3 years already passed. Cumulative financial delivery and timing of key implementation milestones are severely off track.
- For Outcome 1, "Institutional capacity, inter-institutional coordination and availability of funding increased for improved management of ASGM" the only progress is represented by in the purchase of computer hardware and software for improved near real-time GIS monitoring of mining areas, which has been handed over to the Geological Mining Department (GMD) of Suriname. The foreseen training sessions for institutions have not taken place and there have not been any advances in identifying funding opportunities to support upscaling of ERM practices.
- The Outcome 2, "Policy and planning framework for the management of the environmental impacts of ASGM mining strengthened" did not record any significant progress except a limited support towards finalization of Suriname National Action Plan for ASGM in response to Minamata Convention. The PB decided that World Bank loans should be now used to carry out the activities foreseen for this outcome that include gender-sensitive policies, guidelines for the responsible management of gold mining and for sustainable forest management and a Responsible Mining Strategy and Action Plan to guide the sustainable development of the ASGM sector. However, discussions are still in progress and it is not clear what remains under the project and GEF funding. It should be agreed if it is the case to propose a budget shift between the project activities, if these budgetary changes will need to adhere to UNDP/GEF guidelines.
- For the Outcome 3 "Uptake of environmentally-responsible artisanal small-scale gold mining practices increased” there have been significant delays in institutional decision making between MNR and NIMOS on the location of the MTECs. Two locations were finally agreed upon but no actual MTEC has been set up yet. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, no site visits took place as well as consultations with local stakeholders before December 2021 when a first field visit has been undertaken from December 16-19 in the Brokopondo district. New field visits are now planned at beginning of 2022 to gather baseline data, consult with local stakeholders and take exploration samples to ensure that the gold is of sufficient quantity to be of interest to an operation to mine. A list for equipment to be acquired for the MTEC’s has been prepared. The Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) is based in Canada and he was not able to go to the field. This Outcome includes one of the main projects results and there is the need to greatly accelerate the implementation of activities, and it requires strong commitment of the key government counterparts.
- No results can be seen also for Outcome 4, "Knowledge availability and sharing increased at the national and regional scale on environmentally responsible ASGM". The communications firm still needs to start working on communications and knowledge products. The study tour on environmentally friendly mining sites in French Guiana was not yet organized and it should be scheduled for beginning of next year if COVID-19 will allow for it.
- The project´s Stakeholders Platform, will be re-launched soon after more than one year of inoperability. A new invitation letter has been sent to all the stakeholders included in the platform.
- If the project will not be able to reduce the delays accumulated so far, there is a high risk that the project will not be able to achieve all its proposed targets and objectives at the time of its scheduled closure.
- However, if the field activities will be continued in January involving local beneficiaries, and all the other activities will be speeded up once the PMU will be fully operation and supported by all the external consultant, almost all the objectives could be reached.
It has to be noted that it is not easy to engage external consultants with proper skills and competencies. For different calls for Expression of Interest (EoI) no proposals were received.
- A request for project extension can facilitate to finalize the project and meet the expected results however, basically the UNDP rules say that extensions are not permitted except when force majeure occurs. 12 month extensions could be permitted with strong justifications due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and source for funding to cover cost of project extension, but it is not sure this will be enough since the project is significantly behind schedule.
- Evaluation Information
- Corporate Outcome and Output
UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021
Output 1.3.1 National capacities and evidence-based assessment and planning tools enable gender-responsive and risk-informed development investments, including for response to and recovery from crisis
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally