Goals and Objectives
By acting together, the Swiss Better Gold Association and its partners embrace the opportunity to significantly increase the volume of artisanal and small-scale mined gold to the market, and in doing so advance the economic and social wellbeing of ASGM operations and their communities. The positive impact of this collaboration far exceeds that which any organisation could achieve while on its own. Partners recognise that greater co-operation is in the best interests of all parties, ASGM miners and their communities.
This collaboration demonstrates that, when carried out responsibly, the ASM gold sector can provide a community-based and environmentally sound livelihood to some of the poorest communities in the world. It also helps raise awareness on the existing challenges prevailing in the ASGM sector that, when not adequately managed, can be extremely damaging for the communities and the environment.
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Switzerland is one of the most important commodity trading centres in the world. It is also the world leader in gold refining, watch and jewellery making, and home to many financial institutions. Hence, it plays a remarkable role in the worldwide gold supply chain. Likewise, Swiss Cooperation has a long history supporting different development initiatives, which places Switzerland in a privileged position as a competent and appreciated partner promoting sustainable gold production.
Due to the growing importance of the sector in terms of domestic and foreign policy, the Federal Council started to publish a commodity report (in 2013 and 2018) with several recommendations to strengthen transparency, competitiveness, innovation; sustainability and dialogue for the sector. It established the interdepartmental platform on commodities and it supports several tools and initiatives to implement the recommendations, one of which is the Better Gold Initiative.
Arising from a wish to improve the situation of artisanal and small-scale gold miners, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Swiss Better Gold Association have developed a public-private partnership named the Swiss Better Gold Initiative for Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining. Set up in 2013, the Swiss Better Gold Initiative became a pioneer solution with the purpose of generating transparency, responsibility and profitability in the ASM gold sector.
Since January 2023, Swiss Better Gold is an ISEAL community member.
ISEAL is a global network, which focusses on supporting sustainability systems through:
- defining credible practice for sustainability systems based on emerging global consensus
- convening forums for collaboration, sharing of experience and collective action
- delivering expertise, advice, and training
- facilitating and promoting innovation to strengthen sustainability systems.
ISEAL’s community members make up a global network of sustainability organisations across a 100 countries and various sectors reaching from forestry and seafood to biomaterials and extractives. As an ISEAL community member, Swiss Better Gold has access to valuable resources and knowledge on sustainability systems, which allows for a constant reflection on Swiss Better Gold’s approach and possible improvements. Being part of the ISEAL community furthermore offers the possibility to maintain a constant exchange with the other members, learning and sharing experiences.