Aid groups in the Netherlands are developing fair trade certification for gold which was mined in a fair, safe and environmentally-friendly way.
The Max Havelaar organisation, famed for its fair trade coffee and chocolate, and Solidaridad network group have developed the gold mark which will initially be used by 10 jewelry makers. The organisations hope sustainability will be a major issue in the gold sector within five years.
Some 85% to 90% of gold is currently extracted in large scale mining projects which lead to ground water and river pollution with mercury, the organisations say. Locals are also forced to move homes when a mining company arrives and gold mining is also associated with the destruction of forests.
‘If a mine is empty, the local environment is seriously polluted and the original residents get nothing,’ Nico Roozen, director of Solidaridad told Nos television.
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