On October 17th and 18th, the Local Economic Development, Mining and Sustainability International Forum was held in the city of Lima, Peru. The event was attended by mayors and officials of local governments of Canada, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, managers of mining companies, representatives of the academy, the Peruvian National Government and the international sector. It was the opportunity to share the challenges and progress on the promotion of local economic development in mining communities in Latin America, where the benefits of the extraction of resources are still not distributed equally.

“Local governments need to have better tools to promote local economic development and to improve the quality of life of their communities. At the same time, they need to coordinate with the National and Provincial level, with the private sector and the academia, in the development processes so that they integrate all the different stakeholders in the regions and work for a more equal and inclusive society” shared Carlos Casas, a senior lecturer at the Department of Economics of the Universidad del Pacífico and a former deputy minister of Economy.

Panelists from throughout the Americas presented progress, results and methodological approaches on the planning of local economic development, mining supply chains, value chains such as tourism, technical assistance funds such as the CISAL Fund, among others.

It was also the opportunity for local governments to share good practices and significant experiences in the extractive sector: “The mining company once a year invited a member of the municipal council to the mining company as a good practice, so they could be accountable and understand what were they doing for the benefit of the community” shared the Mayor of Elkford, British Columbia, Dean McKerracher.

The discussions had a special emphasis on trying to identify ways to promote development that emphasized gender equity and the empowerment of women. “For Canada, working towards the empowerment of women is the most effective approach to build a more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable world,” said the Ambassador of Canada in Peru, Gwyneth Kutz, at the opening of the event.

At the end, the coordinator of the CISAL Project in Antioquia, Sara Pérez, concluded: “We need a private and public sector engaged and part of the development of the, where the different actors and different community groups, levels of government and civil society, based in a relationship of trust, build together a better tomorrow.”