- The results that were presented emerged within the framework of the Responsible Party Agreement, signed on December 15, 2020 between planetGOLD Colombia and the Autonomous Regional Corporation of Cauca [Corporación Autónoma Regional del Cauca].
- The progress achieved to date was presented at the event, and the commitment to achieving a mercury-free Colombia was reinforced.
- As part of the alliance, the UNDP Colombia donated equipment for real-time detection in mining zones of the Cauca region, as well as training to professionals in the management of these tools.
In a bid to reduce the use of mercury in its environmental action, the Corporación Autónoma Regional del Cauca – CRC and the UNDP Colombia planetGOLD project, joined their forces to implement the project titled “Integrated management for the elimination of mercury in small-scale mining and subsistence mining in the Cauca region”. Through this initiative, the Department of Cauca decided to join the commitment to a mercury-free Colombia.
The purpose of this initiative is to strengthen mining communities in the municipalities of Suarez, Buenos Aires, Guapi and Timbiquí in Cauca through the implementation of conservation measures; the sustainable use of biodiversity; the reduction of environmental degradation and risk management in mining areas.
According to Liliana Alvarado, the National Chief of the planetGOLD Colombia project, this work should continue, in benefit of the environment.
“We definitely understand that there are still communities in our territories that require direct assistance in formalization processes and we hope that this project, and all that is to come in the future by way of the corporations, will allow us to continue to join our efforts in the achievement of this formalization goal, but above all, to avoid the use of mercury”.
Ángela Alejandra Guerrero Guzmán; Director at Corporación Regional Autónoma del Cauca – CRC, expressed that:
“By means of the execution of this project and the partnership with the UNDP Colombia, we have sought to trigger a transformation in the mining sector, to impact not just the region, but to generate demonstrative action for the rest of the country, taking into account that since 2013, Colombia established the goal of eliminating the use of this pollutant in mining activities and expects to achieve a Mercury-Free Colombia by 2023”.
It is worth noting that 263 women and men miners from these municipalities in Cauca have benefitted from the execution of this project. In parallel, awareness has been raised among 1200 people via workshops and training on: the environment; clean production and sustainable development.
The corporation has designed and built educational materials collaboratively, and with the use of technical guidance from the project, to raise community awareness on the risks that exposure to this pollutant poses to human health, and the environment.
Thanks to this partnership and the inter-institutional work that took place, the Cauca region is making progress in the comprehensive development of the communities and the achievement of responsible mining, which contribute to a Mercury-Free Colombia.
- As part of the partnership, the UNDP Colombia donated equipment for the detection of mercury, including the DMA 80, and SciAps X200 equipment, which the corporation used to achieve sustainable intervention through the performance of environmental monitoring in mining areas.
- Within this project, it was possible to train and certify the knowledge of more than 20 professionals at the corporation in the subjects of gender equality, human rights and a mercury-free Colombia.
- Within the framework of the agreement, 22 applications for temporary environmental licenses in the municipalities of Guapi, Timbiquí, Suárez and Buenos Aires were assessed, in a bid to secure guarantees for the clean production of gold in mining communities.