We connected ideas in order to improve artisanal and small scale mining. On December 5th and 6th of 2019, the Colombia Regional Workshop (Antioquia) was carried out, which reflected on the main challenges, barriers and lessons learned from the artisanal and small-scale mining sector (ASM).
Concretely, we discussed access to mining resources, mining formalization, the elimination of mercury, the commercialization of gold and the role of public institutions and civil society in promoting the sector. How can we make small-scale mining more responsible?
The reflections were done based on the experiences of 105 miners and the implementation of different projects by the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) based on the “CRAFT: Passport to Formal Markets” and “Fairmined” Standards.
We looked for solutions:
Thus, it was proposed to build an inter-institutional route and with different players in the sector that established guidelines for action. The objective was to give possible solutions to the challenges and barriers identified during the days of reflection. Thanks to this rich dialogue, an Activity Agenda for 2020 was established, which ARM will follow up on.
¿How were we able to hear from eachother? We were able to learn about the concrete experiences of both miners and public institutions during different panels. During the second day, the different attendants did a dialogue exercise that required them to listen to one another at a table and decide which would be the main proposals and activities necessary to solve the sector’s shortcomings. This workshop was attended by the Civil Society, state institutions, mining experts, mining representatives and artisanal miners from different regions of the country.
Barriers in 2019 that arose from real experiences
- Regulation not aligned with the miners’ realities and capacities;
- Lack of articulation and coordination between State entities;
- Lack of a gender-inclusive approach in the sector;
- Problems with the approval of Work Plans and Projects (PTO)
- Lack of information and dissemination systems for ASM;
- Lack of a public policy to protect artisanal mining activity (known in Colombia as subsistence mining).
The ARM wager The space helped us build an action plan, which will serve as a roadmap for the sector and promote advocacy activities that lead to the fulfillment of the proposed solutions. This agenda will also be used by all people and organizations involved (miners and civil society audiences) and applied in their territories.