From Exploitation to Regeneration: Promoting Biodiversity in Peru News

21 April, 2023

Peru is one of the few countries in Latin America to have enacted comprehensive mine closure legislation. From an environmental perspective, mine closure encompasses a set of activities that need to be implemented throughout the life cycle of a mine which comply with specific environmental criteria, mitigate future environmental impacts and undertake environmental rehabilitation following the decommissioning of a mine. 

As part of its focus on improving environmental management of mining and energy activities in Peru, Cowater International-implemented MEGAM Project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, is delivering training in the closure of artisanal and small-scale mines (ASM) to SERNANP.  SERNANP is a specialized technical public agency, attached to the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment, tasked with the conservation of natural protected areas and maintaining biological diversity.  

MEGAM has been working with 30 public servants from SERNANP to build up their capacity around mine closure activities, including awareness of the regulatory framework, practical ASM closure techniques and introducing nature-based solutions.  

Introduced by the World Bank and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the late 2000s, nature-based solutions (NbS) are “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.” NbS can be used for both climate mitigation and climate adaptation activities and are crucial in achieving the goals of the Global Biodiversity Framework, set out as part of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15). 

Supporting Peruvian authorities to promote NbS in mine closure can lead to the use of natural infrastructure to not only mitigate against mining related environmental risks, such as preventing acid rock and mine drainage, but can also promote climate mitigation and adaptation through revegetation, reforestation and ecosystem establishment.  

Interested in learning more about how Nbs can be used in mine closure, see Xie, L. and van Zyl, D’s mini review in the Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection (2022) CLICK HERE.

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