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Mining, the Environment and Conflict


There are innumerable, valuable resources for learning more about many of the issues touched upon in Otra Cosa No Hay/ There is Nothing Else. Here are some materials to get you started.


Local Communities, the Environment and Gold Mining

Large-scale and foreign gold mining companies can have a disruptive effect on local communities and the environment. There are organizations that attempt to minimize these effects, and a market for gold products that are certified as being socially and/or environmentally responsible. For more information, you may want to visit sites such as:

The Fairtrade Foundation’s Gold resources: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/gold/

The Alliance for Responsible Mining: http://www.communitymining.org/

The World Gold Council has developed an industry-led approach to conflict-free gold extraction.

Ethical Metalsmiths: http://www.ethicalmetalsmiths.org/

Brilliant  Earth: http://www.brilliantearth.com/


Colombia and Gold Mining

In Otra Cosa No Hay/ There is Nothing Else,  an EcoOro Vice-President states that Colombia is not a gold-mining country, but that it is on the path to becoming one. For more information about the role of gold mining in Colombia’s development agenda, the following resources may be useful:

A cursory overview of existing thought on the relationship of gold mining to development can be found here: Lizcano, et.al., The Great Debate: Mining in Latin America, April 25, 2013.

Colombia’s development plan, in which gold mining plays a central role, can be found here.

An interactive map demonstrative the rapid increase in mining-related license and title requests in Colombia, as well as many other useful resources, can be found at the website for La Silla Vacia.

Resistance to EcoOro’s Mining Operations

In June 2012, a number of NGOs filed a complaint against the IFC, arguing that it’s financial support of the Greystar/EcoOro project violated the IFC’s own social and environmental policies. More information about this complaint, can be found here, the website for the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, which receives complaints on IFC  and MIGA projects.

EcoOro’s website can be found here.

Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA) and CENSAT, have been among the lead NGOs in the efforts to stop mining in the Páramo de Santubán.


Mining and Conflict

There are many excellent resources demonstrating the link between investments by foreign mining companies and local conflict.

A good place to start understanding these issues, is MICLA, which includes useful interactive maps demonstrating high number of conflicts similar to the one highlighted in Otra Cosa No Hay/ There is Nothing Else.  http://micla.ca/conflicts/

Another useful resource is the Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de America Latina. (OCMAL)

The connection between mining and conflict arises in all regions of the world. To learn more about this relationship, visit, for example, this primer.


Christiana Ochoa’s Articles

Christiana Ochoa is a law professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Her academic articles can be found here.