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Promoting Sustainable Mining and Social Dialogue: El Programa de Integración Minera (Mining Integration Program)

by Anghy Aquino | 28-04-2024 16:05 recommendations 0

In Peru, the mining industry plays a crucial role in the economy, yet it often falls short in benefiting local communities. For this reason, the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines initiated the Programa de Integración Minera (Mining Integration Program), aimed at fostering sustainable mining practices and dialogue to mitigate social conflicts. I've been lucky enough to be part of this program, where I've met students and professionals from the mining industry, community leaders, and women residing near mining areas.


Through the program, I had the privilege to meet individuals like Mr. Jesús Castrejón, a leader from the San Andrés de Negritos community in Cajamarca, living near Yanacocha mine. His attempts to engage in dialogue with Yanacocha and government authorities fell on deaf ears until the Mining Integration Program provided a platform for his voice to be heard. Mr. Castrejón shared his community's struggles, notably extreme poverty despite the proximity to lucrative mining operations and threats of displacement to make way for mining operations. 


Community leaders like Mr. Castrejón highlight the disconnect between promised benefits and reality. Despite efforts to engage with mining companies and government authorities, communities often face neglect and marginalization. During an in-person meeting of our program in Lima, Mr. Castrejón exhibited remarkable courage by openly addressing the Ministry of Energy and Mines authorities. He highlighted the longstanding neglect his community endured, emphasizing the Ministry's historical indifference and Yanacocha mining company's disregard for their concerns. Ministry authorities committed to find a way to help Mr. Castrejón and generate a space for dialogue between his community and Yanacocha Mining. But so far, not much has changed. Mr. Castrejón just wants what's best for his community: sustainable development.



Mr. Castrejón remains steadfast in his advocacy efforts, continuing to champion his community's cause. Just days ago, he took to the airwaves of Radio Exitosa in Peru, urging Yanacocha Mining to provide support for his community.


Another community leader I met through the program is Mr. Victor from Puno. He lives near the Minsur mine and wants to see more long-term projects in his community that truly help them develop sustainably. He feels like the projects done by Minsur are just temporary fixes to keep people quiet, without really helping the community in the long run.


These firsthand narratives underscore the urgent need for environmental justice in mining communities. While bearing the brunt of mining-related impacts such as land loss, pollution, and noise, communities remain trapped in poverty. Inspired by the resilience of these community leaders, I am driven to advocate for meaningful change and sustainable development.

Having spoken with Mr. Jesús, Victor, and other leaders from mining communities has taught me a valuable lesson in resilience and perseverance. Their stories have inspired me to further engage in the environmental justice cause. I hope to assist them in any way I can. Additionally, I am contemplating undertaking a project to ensure that their stories are heard and known worldwide.

Despite the Ministry of Energy and Mines' evident shortcomings, the Mining Integration Program initiative fosters essential forums where community leaders, students, and mining professionals can voice their grievances, make requests, and directly engage with ministry authorities to catalyze change and progress. However, the most crucial aspect lies ahead: translating these discussions into tangible actions that bring about real change in communities and lead to a reduction in poverty.



  • Peru Former E-gen Ambassador Anghy Aquino
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Eco Generation

  • Eco Generation says :
    Thanks for sharing wonderful news!
    Posted 07-05-2024 15:15

Seeun Mentor

  • Seeun Mentor says :
    Hello, this is mentor Seeun.
    It must have been an incredible experience to meet people passionate about the environment!
    I hope that more opportunities for experts and students to meet are prepared in the future.
    Thank you for your report!
    Posted 29-04-2024 13:33

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