The project "Building a Regional Strategy to Incorporate Environmental and Social Safeguards into Mining Operations in the Tropical Andes Hotspot", developed between July 2019 and October 2020, concluded with the dissemination of 11 documents and a regional platform with information on gold mining in each of the countries involved. These proposals constitute a solid basis for promoting the reduction of the impacts of gold mining, in key biodiversity conservation areas and in ecosystem functions as well.
The main result is that we have cartographic information on the presence, intensity and impacts of legal and illegal mining operations in eight conservation corridors in the four countries. In Bolivia, in the Madidi, Pilón Lajas, Apolobamba and Cotapata corridor; in Peru, in the Northwest Peru, Carpish-Yanachaca, Vilcanota Mountain Range and Condor Kutukú Palanda corridors; in Colombia, in the Paragus Munchique corridor; and in Ecuador, in the Condor Kutukú Palanda, Northwest Pichincha and Cotacachi Awá corridors.
The documents generated consist of: i) four diagnostics of gold mining activities and their impacts in conservation corridors prioritized in the project, one per country, ii) four strategies aimed at providing guidance for reducing the impacts of gold mining in the prioritized corridors, one per country, and iii) three regional strategies: the first one proposes guidelines against illegal mining in the four countries, and the two complementary strategies, a financial and a communication one, are aimed at strengthening the implementation of the mining strategy.
In addition, a virtual plataform, Regional HUB, has been created to provide information on the eight project corridors in the four countries, as well as the social and environmental impacts of gold mining in these geographic spaces, through maps, videos, photographs and documents generated during the project.
Another important result of this joint work is the formation and strengthening of inter-institutional platforms and/or discussion groups in each country that add up to more than 50 organizations of the civil society, academic and governmental, interested in cooperating to reduce the impacts of illegal mining in areas of high ecological value. In Bolivia, the Inter-institutional Working Group on Responsible Gold GIT-OR, in Peru, the Observatory on Illegal Mining and Related Activities in Key Biodiversity Areas, and in Ecuador, the Multi-Party Group, which promotes the EITI standard on transparency in the extractive sector.
This project, led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Bolivia Program, was executed in Colombia by the Foundation for Conservation and Sustainable Development (FCDS), in Peru by the Frankfurt Zoological Society of Peru (FZS), and by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Ecuador programs, with financial support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).
All he documents of the Project are available for download at the following link: