As the Oro Verde ® model has been successful, the next step is to replicate and scale up this initiative, both within Chocó and also nationally and internationally. Around 13 million people around the globe depend on artisanal mining for their subsistence, and very often environmental degradation and poverty accompany the reality of these communities. In 2005, the Oro Verde ® programme joined forces with international institutions to create the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) with two purposes. Firstly to adapt the Oro Verde ® programme to be applicable to other artisanal mining communities in the world and, secondly, to set an independent organisation that would develop an international standard to certify responsible artisanal mining practices. Both of these purposes have been met.
Oro Verde ® is the brand name of the first environmentally certified and socially responsible gold in the world. The Oro Verde ® programme continues to grow and expand, and is in part possible due to the existence of an independent, global label developed by ARM to certify fair trade gold, FAIRMINED, that while in the process of gaining market recognition, has gained a positive reputation in development spheres for leading a transparent and inclusive process in developing a fair trade standard for artisanal gold.
There is great potential for the expansion of the programme within the Chocó Bioregion, as 32 of the 93 municipalities have vocation for mining precious metals. In this context, the programme has great opportunities of enhancing the lives of thousands of families in the eco-region that depend on mining for their livelihoods.