The Oro Verde Initiative works to empower and improve the lives of Afro-descendants living in the Chocó Region in Colombia, and to protect one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, through the commercialization of Fairtrade & Fairmined precious metals (ecological gold and platinum).
After a decade of challenging and rewarding work, we are proud to say that we have had great achievements!
Oro Verde's bottom-up model inspired the creation of the "Fairtrade & Fairmined" international certification label for artisanal and small-scale mining. As a result, 15 million miners worldwide can now benefit from market access and improved social conditions.
Oro Verde is the world’s only source of Fairtrade & Fairmined Ecological certified gold and platinum.
The Chocó Bioregion is recognized as one of the world’s most valuable biodiversity hotspots, home to some of the greatest fauna and flora diversities on earth. Its rivers and basins are also rich in gold and platinum, which has attracted illegal mining and armed conflict to Colombia’s poorest region.
Artisanal miners, who have extracted gold for generations in harmony with their environment without the use of dangerous chemicals like mercury and cyanide, rent their land to irrational and destructive gold-mining groups as a short-term mean for income generation. When these groups pull out, they leave behind a devastated land and poisoned rivers.
“Oro Verde gold is ‘green gold’- chemical free. The environment is the most important thing in our lives, and if we destroy it we are just destroying ourselves.”
Américo Mosquera” – Oro Verde Miner
“The machine comes and after passing two or three times it exploits the land and that money is not good for us because today we have it, but tomorrow we won’t be left with anything. If we have the land, everyday you just go and retrieve the daily grain from it, and the land is still there; and you receive the sustenance for yourself and your children. Do you understand me now?”
Nubia Mosquera – Oro Verde Miner
Soaring international gold prices and the dynamics of Colombia’s armed conflict have increased the pressure on artisanal mining communities over the last couple of years. The additional margin paid today by ethical jewelers is not sufficient.
Our next crucial step will be to sell gold and platinum directly to conscious consumers and activists who value biodiversity and the wellbeing of communities.
This will be possible through the creation of an Internet Auction!
The web-based Oro Verde AUCTION will sell gold and platinum directly to final consumers. It will be the first Fairtrade auction that integrates biodiversity value into products.
The Auction will allow miners to have a direct relationship to consumers generating a higher return; and will empower consumers to put a value on biodiversity and social justice!
With your support, we will be able to build the Oro Verde Auction and funds will be applied towards:
If we do not reach 100% of our economic goal, the funds received will be applied towards:
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Thank you to all photographers who have helped document the Oro Verde Initiative: Alejandro Cock, Ronal de Hommel, Kike Arnal and the AMICHOCO team.