Ministry of Mines and Energy. Vetas, Santander. August 18th, 2017. The Minister of Mines and Energy, German Arce Zapata, participated in the Sustainable Territorial Development Forum, which took place in Vetas, Santander, and stated that sustainable is the main challenge for Proper Mining Activities.
"The objective is to be environmentally responsible and appropriately handling our resources," Minister Arce said. "When they talk about mining in Vetas, they know what it is about. This municipality may become the main legal gold producer in the country and it is carrying out Proper Mining Activities."
The Forum included the participation of the Mayor of Vetas, Orlando Rodriguez; the acting Governor of Santander, Manuel Sorzano, and Silvana Habib, the President of the National Mining Agency, as well as delegates from the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development.
This event had an attendance that included over 300 individuals from the region, mainly miners, and was led by the Association of Municipalities of Santurbán. It involved a conversation with different visions in order to debate the challenges and opportunities for this traditional mining region with respect to its achieving sustainable development.
Minister Arce reiterated during this presentation that the mining industry is producing over 350,000 direct jobs and each of them generates four indirect ones, for a total number of 1,750,000 people who are enjoying dignified employment.
He also underlined that Colombian mining only uses 4.4% of water, which distinguishes it from other activities. "We have always said that mining activities will not be carried out in the moorlands. We must continue to advance towards conversations and actions that will allow us to understand how mining must evolve for the benefit of the community and the environment."
The event had a panel where the community was able to participated, in addition to experts such as Santiago Angel, the President of the Colombian Mining Association; Javier Peña, environmental expert; Nelson Obregon, expert on water resources, and Gloria Lucia Alvarez, an expert lawyer specialized in environmental law.