Peace with Hunger: Colombia’s Checkered Experience with Post-Conflict Sustainable Community Development in Emerald-Mining Regions
“I was told by a senior executive in the mining emerald industry they had spent many millions of dollars, so that well-known princesses, princes and famous top models could wear a luxurious necklace. You are speaking in a different language—I said. Thank you for letting me know this but my heart cries for those single mothers in Muzo who cannot afford food for their children. All that money you are talking about is being spent abroad. We have not got a coin from that luxurious necklace” .
2. Governance and Sustainable Community Development
3. Case Study Selection and Methodology
4. Results and Discussion
4.1. Contrasting Stakeholders’ Perceptions at All Levels of Governance
4.2. Perceptions at the Local Level of Governance
“When I first started the ‘guaqueo’, or informal mining, I used to exchange emeralds for groceries. Over the time, I was able to get some money that helped me pay my children’s education. Nowadays, there is no artisanal mining. Unfortunately, the government think we all are criminals. There are policies in place but those only applied to multinational companies. We were told we were not allowed to mine. We will be persecuted if we continue undertaking artisanal mining activities on informal basis. We need to have money to be able to mine. This is a very complex issue and we are witnessing the beginning of a huge social problem that will exacerbate in the coming years. Due to the loss of mining as a livelihood option, people are embarking on criminal activities. They do not have any other option. What do you do when you have no job and you are starving? You engage in illegal activities, right? If we do not diversify the economy, if we do not educate people, if we do not build capacity in other areas different from mining such as entrepreneurship, we will start witnessing the rising of the worse criminals in this region .”
“In the past, 100% of mining royalties were allocated to Muzo. Now with the new royalty system Muzo receives only between 20 and 30% of mining royalties. This money has been invested mainly in projects in potable water, education and health. Muzo is a producer area that deserves to have 100% of mining revenues and royalties. We disagree with the new system and decision made on the new royalty allocation system .”
“There is insufficient communication between us and the American mining company operating in Muzo. But we have managed to brainstorm some ideas and somehow collaborate for key initiatives in alignment with their social responsibility agenda. The local government has also encouraged the private sector to align with the local development plan. Otherwise, we will end up embarking on programs irrelevant for us. We hope the company helps us to provide locals with potable water. This is a huge challenge. We are also thinking of developing a tourism plan in collaboration with the American mining company. We want tourists to be able to access large mine sites and get a better understanding of emerald mining. Third, we are aiming at diversifying the economy through agriculture. However, we are very upset about this initiative because, the private company is not targeting communities adjacent to the mine site .”
4.3. Perceptions at the Regional and National Levels of Governance
“Universities and government organizations have come here to provide us with capacity-building. But you know what they do. They get our signatures to show they did the job and get credit at our expense. We need something of value in Muzo. For example, productive projects that target single mothers, widows and the elderly” .
“Some projects have been approved under the new royalty system. However, existing governance arrangement to access resources coming from mining revenues are difficult to access. When financial resources are allocated at the local level, they have already passed through so many hands that we got nothing at the end. We have proposed projects but usually our proposals have been thrown away. There is not an effective allocation of those resources” .
4.4. Collaborative Governance Approach to Sustainable Community Development in Resource Regions
5. Conclusions and Recommendations
Conflicts of Interest
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|Dimensions||Strengths and Opportunities||Weaknesses and Threats|
|Dimensions||Strengths and Opportunities||Weaknesses and Threats|
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Franco, I.B.; Puppim de Oliveira, J.A.; Ali, S.H. Peace with Hunger: Colombia’s Checkered Experience with Post-Conflict Sustainable Community Development in Emerald-Mining Regions. Sustainability 2018, 10, 504. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020504
Franco IB, Puppim de Oliveira JA, Ali SH. Peace with Hunger: Colombia’s Checkered Experience with Post-Conflict Sustainable Community Development in Emerald-Mining Regions. Sustainability. 2018; 10(2):504. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020504Chicago/Turabian Style
Franco, Isabel B., Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira, and Saleem H. Ali. 2018. "Peace with Hunger: Colombia’s Checkered Experience with Post-Conflict Sustainable Community Development in Emerald-Mining Regions" Sustainability 10, no. 2: 504. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020504