THE EARTHBEAT FOUNDATION…
…is a driving force behind a shift of values towards sustainably mined gold. The Earthbeat Foundation is fighting to put the issue of ‘dirty gold’ on the agenda of public attention. We support fair and environmentally friendly gold mining as well as the miners’ right to better and safer living conditions.
Most of us think of positive attributes when we think of gold. However, words like ‘dirty’, ‘polluting’, ‘dangerous’, ‘toxic’ are also part of gold’s reality – especially when we look at its origins. The extraction of gold is a highly harmful process to people and the environment. Twenty million people worldwide work in the artisanal mining industry and one hundred million are indirectly involved in the supply chain. And 90% of the work is manual and often undertaken without technical aids. Gold miners are exposed to toxic chemicals such as mercury, which are commonly used in the extraction process. Not only does this harm the miners with hazardous consequences on their organism, the chemicals used for the extraction also poison the soil and groundwater in the surrounding areas, leading to a significant environmental degradation. This also negatively affects the surrounding agriculture – which is often a major source of income for neighbouring communities.
With gold being as popular as ever and its global demand rising, the number of people who are entering the artisanal gold mining industry is also increasing. This means that the number of people suffering from health issues due to gold mining and the environmental pollution is also increasing.
Earthbeat Foundation is advocating for a shift of value within the jewellery industry but also for an increased public awareness of this problem. On top of that, we have made it our mission to develop alternative income possibilities for gold miners, so that they have the option to choose a less harmful way of making a living and can be less dependent on gold mining. We cooperate directly with the gold mining communities and develop ideas and projects together to make sure that they have the ultimate say in deciding what they want their future to look like.
Next time you think of gold, think of this: A piece of jewellery can only be truly beautiful when it meets both, the highest aesthetic and ethical demands and does not harm people or the environment with its production and distribution.