During the third day of Rumbo a PERUMIN, Central Peru Edition, an event organized by the Peruvian Institute of Mining Engineers (IIMP), Pasco’s director of Energy, Mines, and Hydrocarbons, Juan Rojas, stressed the importance of addressing social conflicts in the mining sector using prevention mechanisms.
The official started by explaining that Pasco’s regional division is currently implementing a program to manage social conflicts focused on both regional and local objectives, the former being the formulation and coordination of conflict management policies with the communities, and the latter being the identification of concrete actions of articulation with the regional government (GORE.)
Currently, 2.9% of all the conflicts in Peru occur in Pasco, according to information provided by the Ombudsman Office. The report states that, of the six active social conflicts involving mining, five are environment-related and one is a labor-related.
“These are issues we have been processing while also planning new strategies to mitigate their negative impact. In 2021, we adopted a multisectoral approach by creating the Regional Social Conflict Prevention and Management Committee, which identifies latent potential conflicts to prevent them,” said Rojas.
As he pointed out, this committee works in partnership with the local governments, which notify any risk of conflict. Once the group of people involved and their demands have been identified, the stakeholders sit at dialog roundtables and reach consensuses.
“For instance, now the Daniel Alcides Carrión province has been identified as an important contributor to the region, for it will become the site of important mining projects. This fact is also a forewarning for us, so we are already focusing all human efforts, including the local authorities, on working together to mitigate any possible risk of conflict,” commented the official.
Prevention and opportunities
At present, the Energy, Mines, and Hydrocarbon Division of the Regional Government of Pasco is implementing a project aimed at creating job opportunities, promoting inclusion, and closing gaps among the young people living in the towns where the main mining projects are located.
This project, led by GORE Pasco, includes programs to build and strengthen mining-related capacities in order to promote labor integration, so every three months young people from the communities can apply to the most important mining companies.
“A way to forge alliances for responsible mining is to create work groups to promote these values. An example of this is the signing of the ‘Alliance for Responsible Mining’, an initiative we are currently undertaking jointly with IIMP, universities, institutes, and other stakeholders, where we disseminate these actions,” concluded director Juan Rojas.