The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs? (OES) Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues at the Department of State announces the Request for Applications (RFA) for the project entitled ?Reducing the Use and Release of Mercury by Artisanal Gold Miners in Latin America.? The purpose is to build capacities in Latin American countries to reduce the use and release of mercury by artisanal gold miners and to otherwise prepare for their potential obligations under the Minamata Convention on mercury pollution. The project awarded will use FY2012 Economic Support Funds. Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest source of global mercury pollution and is present in approximately 80 countries, mostly in the developing world. Although similar challenges to the reduction of use and release of mercury are encountered across the ASGM sector globally, each region has its unique ASGM features. This funding opportunity seeks an appropriate ASGM project for a particular area of need that factors in the level of awareness among stakeholders, government engagement, effectiveness of previous ASGM projects in the area, the type of mining used, and other variables. The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the ASGM dynamics in Latin America and explain how their project is appropriate for advancing the OES goal of reducing mercury use and release. The application must also address the sustainability and replication potential of the proposed project. It is anticipated that this initial award will be awarde d for an ASGM project in Nicaragua.