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CAN Agrees to Joint Action on Illegal Mining, Takes Issue to Rio+20

2 June 2012: The Andean Community (CAN) has taken the first steps toward joint action on combatting illegal mining, agreeing to draft a binding Community decision on legislative/regulatory measures, information exchange and cooperative programmes and actions to address the problem.

Delegations from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru attended a seminar held from 29 May-1 June 2012, in Quito, Ecuador. As a result of the discussions, delegations instructed the CAN Secretariat to draft the decision to be finalized at a meeting to be held in Bogota, Colombia, from 5-6 July 2012.

The Quito seminar adopted a series of guidelines to be followed by the Secretariat in the development of the draft decision on combating illegal mining, which are annexed to the report of the seminar. Per the guidelines, the decision must require the four member States to adopt legislative/regulatory measures to: formalize small-scale artisanal mining; set sanctions for illegal mining; control and inspect the transport, distribution and sale of chemical inputs used in illegal mining; combat laundering of money and crimes connected to the products of illegal mining; and promote responsible supply chains.

The guidelines further call for the decision to promote exchanges of information between authorities about registries for mining, mineral imports/exports, equipment and inputs used in mining, as well as persons under investigation and operations realized against illegal mining in border zones. The guidelines also call for the creation of an Andean Committee Against Illegal Mining to coordinate programmes, projects and actions to combat illegal mining.

Delegations further agreed to draft a CAN declaration on illegal mining to be carried by the CAN Secretary General to the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). [CAN Press Release (in Spanish)] [CAN Mining Meeting Outcome (in Spanish)] [IISD RS Story on Initial CAN Meeting on Illegal Mining]