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Abstract Title: Multilevel Governance of Mercury in Madre de Dios, Peru
Presenter Name: Henrik Selin
Company/Institution: Boston University
Session: How are we doing in implementing the Minamata Convention?
Day and Session: Monday 25th July - Session Four
Start Time: 15:30 UTC
Co-Authors: Henrik Selin,Noelle Selin,Ruth Goldstein

Abstract Information :

The Minamata Convention on Mercury sets out a global legal framework for addressing mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). Addressing such mercury use requires a multilevel governance approach from global to local levels. This creates a need to further study the ways in which different parts of such multilevel governance structures support each other or cause contradictory outcomes. This paper analyzes the design and operation of the multilevel governance structure that addresses mercury use in Madre de Dios, Peru. It examines linkages between global efforts under the Minamata Convention and multi-stakeholder initiatives addressing mercury use in ASGM and the development and implementation of national and local institutions in Peru, including the National Action Plan that Peru must develop as a party to the Minamata Convention. The paper sets out to answer the question of how these different institutions and associated governance efforts by international organizations, governments, and civil-society organizations are linked and the results of their efforts on addressing mercury use and related environmental and human health problems in Madre de Dios. The analysis is based on interviews with government officials and representatives of stakeholders and indigenous organization, analysis of legal instruments and government documents, fieldwork in Madre de Dios, and insights from the existing ASGM literature. The paper finds that it is critical that multilevel governance structures for ASGM are designed around institutions that fit both socioeconomic and biophysical aspects of mercury use and environmental cycling. Multiple actors contribute, but national and local governments in Peru play a central role in designing and implementing domestic interventions. Yet, the involvement of indigenous groups in Madre de Dios are needed to sustain local-level interventions in the longer term. This research helps advance knowledge of the design of multilevel governance structures in the ASGM area more broadly.

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