Artisanal and small-scale miners from Bolivia, Colombia, Honduras and Peru meet to share experiences on their way towards responsible mining
The “Latin-American Forum for Responsible Small-Scale Mining” took place in Manizales, Colombia, on the 1st and 2nd of August 2017. More than seventy miners from the four countries were invited by the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) and the Better Gold Initiative (BGI) to celebrate the success of the project “Development of market incentives to formalize artisanal and small-scale mining in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru”, implemented by ARM between 2014 and 2017, with the financial support of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Multilateral Investment Fond, and the beginning of the second phase of the BGI project, financed by the Swiss Cooperation SECO and the Swiss Better Gold Association. Apart from the miners, approximately fifty representatives of local, national and international institutions and support organizations participated in the event to celebrate with the miners and the organizers. This was the biggest event of this kind in the sector and proof that responsible artisanal and small-scale mining has a growing supporter base.
The projects implemented by ARM and BGI have common objectives, such as:
- Support and strengthen artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) organizations in formalization and sustainability.
- Support mining organizations on their way towards Fairmined Certification or other voluntary responsibility standards.
- Establish fair supply chains between responsible miners and national and international markets.
- Support in the improvement of capacities of national organizations which support formalization processes within the ASM sector.
- Awareness raising and knowledge management on responsible ASM.
The forum provided representatives from beneficiary mining organizations with the opportunity to share their experience with the progressive implementation of better economic, social and environmental mining practices. The miners exchanged knowledge and learnings about topics such as mercury management, associations and cooperatives, mine security and management systems, commercialization, formalization and child labour to motivate the participants to continue implementing responsible practices which drive local development, social development of mining communities and the protection of the environment.
“We really appreciate the effort, the event and the supporting initiatives are very valuable for us. They allow us to learn from our colleagues from Bolivia, Colombia and Honduras, and exchange experiences about small-scale mining in Latin America” César Chambi Masco, representative of the small-scale mining company Chama Perú.
On the second day of the event, two small-scale mines were visited who work towards obtaining Fairmined Certification. This was an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences with those organizations who already went through this process and are successfully selling their Fairmined Gold to national and international markets today.