Regional cooperation for the sustainable management of mining

Project description

Title: Regional cooperation for more sustainable management of mining
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
Regional executing agency: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
Overall term: 2013 to 2016


Mining plays a vital role in the economic development of the Andean states and is seen as a driver of current and future growth. Bolivia, Chile and Peru already have a long history of mining, while the sector is in the process of evolving in Colombia and Ecuador. The positive role that mining plays comes at a cost in economic and social terms: conflicts over water and energy resources for example, environmental degradation, disputes and human rights violations are evident throughout the region. Despite structural differences, the major challenges and problems are common to all the countries concerned. However, there is little exchange on potential solutions and tried and tested practices between the states and stakeholder groups, such as ministries, mining companies and civil society organisations.


Regional cooperation has helped to ensure that the mining sector in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru is managed responsibly in economic, social and environmental terms.


In order to make better use of the mining sector’s potential, a comprehensive and coordinated approach must be taken to incorporate the different dimensions of sustainability – economic, environmental and social. Economic sustainability entails devising and implementing policies, strategies and incentives designed to ensure that mineral resources such as copper, coal and gold can continue to be extracted in the longer term. Environmental sustainability demands the use of modern and environmentally friendly technologies that help to conserve water and energy, among other things. In addition, processes need to be initiated that aim to achieve social sustainability; instruments must be developed to regulate cooperation among the stakeholders using dialogue processes as well as negotiation mechanisms.

GIZ works with the regional executing agency, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in three thematic areas:

  1. policy and strategy
  2. stakeholder governance
  3. technology transfer and promoting innovation.

GIZ promotes the interaction among the regional actors and contributes the wealth of experience and knowledge gained throughout the world by German development cooperation, the German private sector, science and academia to the dialogue. Workshops, conferences and studies play a key role in the exchange of interests and expectations.

The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) is active in a separate complementary project. ECLAC is the regional partner to both projects.

Following an orientation phase, the project design was adjusted in cooperation with the regional executing agency, ECLAC. On this basis, it was possible to begin the implementation phase in December 2014 together with the partners.