A global conservation coalition is offering $750,000 to the winner of its international innovation competition.
Conservation X Labs and partner organizations are accepting applications for its Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge, which aims to solve supply-chain, data-collection and environmental problems associated with artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) worldwide.
ASM accounts for a significant percentage of the world’s metals, including computers, planes, tools, jewelry and makeup. The industry provides a livelihood for 100 million people worldwide, affording economic opportunities to individuals that otherwise might not have them, especially in developing nations.
At the same time, ASM is a leading driver in deforestation of some of the world’s most important rainforests (including the Amazon), is associated with human rights abuses, and can result in dangerous contamination of soil and water systems, resulting in long-term health problems for miners and their communities. Improvements can be made that not only reduce these harms but also increase the socioeconomic benefits to miners and their families.