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Access to responsible markets, good practices and territorial governance in artisanal mining in Chocó, Colombia

    Beheerder EPRM
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    By Beheerder EPRM in the group Redactie EPRM 19 days ago
    Access to responsible markets, good practices and territorial governance in artisanal mining in Chocó, Colombia

    After the CAPAZ 1 and CAPAZ 2 projects, EPRM has awarded a third project in Colombia, titled: access to responsible markets, good practices and territorial governance in artisanal mining in Chocó, Colombia. As the title suggests, the project’s intervention territory is in Chocó, which is a region located in the northwest of Colombia. Chocó is an area with many opportunities on one side, and on the other side many challenges for artisanal gold miners. A local project leader described the situation in Chocó as follows: “Choco is an extremely diverse and environmentally rich zone, with great potential and hardworking communities that have been artisanally mining gold for centuries. Vastly affected by conflict, the region demands local economic development and improvements in territorial governance and peacebuilding, promoting miners’ access to markets through responsible supply chains is a key step in that direction”.

    Main goals

    Anexpo, ARM, Fundación Atabaque, the UN and the EPRM put their heads together to work towards three main goals to improve the social circumstances of the miners in Chocó. First of all, a harmonized due diligence tool (DD-tool) based on the Code of Risk-mitigation for artisanal and small-scale mining engaging in Formal Trade (CRAFT) will be developed. The DD-tool will be available for consultation and use of the public and could be integrated into the procedures of midstream and upstream supply chain actors outside the project.

    Second of all, training of mining groups and development of practical and adaptable methodology should lead to an increased number of formalized artisanal miners who use better practices in gold extraction. The extraction methods of the artisanal gold miners must be in compliance with the increasing requirements of the international gold market.

    Third of all, the project has a strong focus on women empowerment. This goal will be achieved by means of the design and implementation of a territorial action plan to remove barriers and create enabling conditions to build women’s capacity for productive and responsible use of natural resources. Furthermore, gender sensitive trainings are provided to miners in ASMs and women miners’ participation in decision-making regarding natural resource management and peacebuilding will increase.

    Taking all these efforts together, the project expects to improve responsible artisanal miners’ access to markets and to increase the volume of gold exported, while at the same time empowering women in the Colombian gold industry. We are looking forward to find out more about the impact of this project the coming months.