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Catchment's management and mining impacts in arid and semi-arid South America


More than 25% of South America is arid or semi-arid. A general lack of rational water management systems hinders the sustenance / recovery of ecosystems and human communities in these areas. The twin scourges of erosion and salinisation are prone to exacerbation by various human activities. Mining is the sector with the highest environmental impact, yet it contributes more to legal export earnings in the region than any other sector. There is clearly a need to rigorously review the effectiveness of existing policies, and to develop new approaches to river-basin management to ensure that such vital economic activity can be carried out in a manner which does not permanently damage fragile ecosystems and water resources upon which human communities depend in arid / semi-arid areas.

CAMINAR has the general aim of contributing to the establishment of policy options, management strategies and technologies for the sustainable management of ecosystems in those river basins of arid and semi-arid South America, which are subject to impacts from mining. This aim will be achieved, using Peru, Bolivia and Chile as demonstration countries, through realisation of the following objectives: establish forums for dialogue on the ecological and water resources impacts of mining in arid / semi-arid river basins (at both national and regional levels); critically evaluate the effectiveness of existing regulatory strategies for mining in arid / semi-arid areas through studies of selected river-basins in the demonstration countries; develop guidelines for integrated water resources and ecosystem management in arid / semi-arid zones of South America with particular emphasis on mining impacts; develop decision support tools to facilitate participatory water management planning; and derive a set of principles for future policy development and implementation to protect fragile ecosystems and dependant human communities in arid / semi-arid regions.

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6 Kensington Terrace
United Kingdom

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