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Environmental Peacebuilding and Traditional Gold Mining Communities: Challenges and Oportunities in a Post-Conflict Setting in Colombia

  • The post-conflict setting in Colombia resulted after the signing of the peace agreement between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the national Government at the end of 2016, faces two main problems. On one hand, the environmental degradation and the pressure over the ecosystems now exposed to the economic and socio-demographic dynamics of the country; and on the other hand, the increase of violence in rural areas characterized by the abundance of natural resources. These two problems can be linked through the complex dynamics of natural resources appropriation. Among the natural resources affecting the course of the post-conflict in Colombia, gold appears as one of the most relevant sources of violence and environmental degradation. This condition makes it crucial to understand the complex local dynamics of mining regions in order to propose alternatives for consolidating a sustaining peace. The armed groups, the state, the private companies, and traditional gold mining communities are all stakeholders involved in gold mining and the conflicts around this activity. Nevertheless, communities have been denied as a formal actor. This work aims to give voice to those communities, understanding them as a key actor for peacebuilding. This research seeks to understand the relationship between gold mining and the social-armed conflict in Colombia, to identify which are the drivers for the increasing of this activity during the post-conflict, as well as which strategies developed by traditional gold mining communities can contribute to peacebuilding. Thus, an integrative analytical framework is developed. This theoretical framework integrates 1) environmental peacebuilding to evaluate the possibilities of natural resources to becoming tools for cooperation, and 2) political ecology to clarify, from a multi-scalar approach, the socio-political context in which the conflict takes place. Hence, from a qualitative approach that involves several ethnographic methods is found that artisanal-ancestral miners and traditional miners organized to remain in their territories in a context of dispossession, have developed socio-ecological systems and natural resources management strategies relevant to implement initiatives of environmental peacebuilding that can be sustained over time and aimed to overcome the structural causes of violence and environmental degradation.

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Author:Johann Sebastian Reyes Bejarano
Document Type:Master's Thesis
Publishing Institution:Hochschulbibliothek der Technischen Hochschule Köln
Granting Institution:Technische Hochschule Köln
Date of first Publication:2019/11/05
Date of Publication (online):2019/11/15
GND-Keyword:Friedenssicherung; Goldbergbau; Kolumbien; Umweltschutz
Tag:Colombia; Environmental protection; Gold mining; Peacebuilding
Institutes:Fakultät für Raumentwicklung und Infrastruktursysteme (F12) / Fakultät 12 / Institut für Technologie und Ressourcenmanagement in den Tropen und Subtropen
Dewey Decimal Classification:500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik
Open Access:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell 4.0 International