© Oro Verde
10 May 2014
As many of you will know, the Oro Verde program in the Chocó Bioregion of Colombia was the inspiration behind the creation of the Alliance for Responsible Mining. Oro Verde, or the Green Gold program, was a world’s first in many ways. For the first time ever, ecological gold from Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) was certified and the gold sold to pioneering ethical jewelers across the globe. It was also the first time the world saw how community development, led by the community leaders themselves, could be supported by mining activities carried out in a responsible manner. Oro Verde proved that mining and environmental destruction did not have to go hand in hand, and that there were market opportunities for miners wanting to protect the biodiversity of their land.
Needless to say the Oro Verde program pioneered responsible practices in the mining sector and led the way for initiatives like our own Fairmined standard. Based on their experiences, Fairmined has been able to develop a global standard and learn from the advances and challenges that Oro Verde has faced.
As you can read from the letter attached below, AMICHOCÓ, Oro Verdes support organization, now puts an end to their journey, confident that the Alliance for Responsible Mining and others will continue their work with responsible miners on a global scale supported by the same pioneers that showed confidence in Amichoco and the Oro Verde program. We have learnt tremendous lessons over the past ten years, and as we say goodbye to AMICHOCÓ, we want to take the opportunity to stress the importance of the need to continuously evolve and innovate development initiatives. At the very center of our initiative, is the conviction that there must be a solid business case for miners to ensure real sustainability and continued improvement of the quality of life of their families. Models such as the Fairmined initiative that may be supported by the international development community must have a business model that enables them to survive in the long run and ensure continued development in the mining communities they were made to support.
We invite you to read the letter from AMICHOCÓ and thank you again for the support shown to all our initiatives working to empower responsible artisanal and small scale miners. Oro Verde will continue its journey as community leaders and we hope you will all continue to support them.