South Korea to help Peru hone environmental management

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Peru and South Korea signed an accord to help manage environmental liabilities in the Andean country as the government seeks to prevent the spread of anti-mining conflicts in the run-up to the April 2016 elections.

Korea's international cooperation agency Koica will foment the development of a sustainable mining industry through technology transfer, manuals, research and training, Peru's energy and mines ministry (MEM) said in a statement.

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The three year project agreement, which includes developing online information systems and studies of Peru's environmental liabilities and current regulations, was signed by Peruvian energy and mines minister Rosa María Ortiz and South Korean ambassador Keun Ho Jang, according to the statement.

South Korea's trade, industry and energy minister Yoon Sang-jick is scheduled to visit Peru in October for talks on mining and energy sector cooperation, the ministry said.

Peruvian state agency Activos Mineros is working to clean up 475 environmental liabilities in Cajamarca, Áncash, Junín, Puno, Lima, Pasco, Huancavelica and Ica regions, according to its website.

The state's failure to impose tougher new environmental standards on the mining and metallurgical industries is spurring greater social conflicts, according to environmental groups such as Cooperacción.

There were 209 social conflicts in July, while protests left at least one dead and nine injured, according to the ombudsman's office. Protests included demonstrations by Pasco residents, who called on the government to solve environmental liabilities left by mining operations.

Social conflicts are expected to increase as the campaign gets underway for next year's elections, according to NGOs and the national society of mining, petroleum and energy (SNMPE).