Colombia is positioned to be a global leader in responsible minerals management. The country plans to promote and support the implementation of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and recognizes that international markets expect traceability. In addition, Colombia expects mining to be undertaken in a way that supports its social development policies.

The downstream industry accepts and expects suppliers to demonstrate traceability and attaches importance to the OECD guidance. It was noted that the practical expression of due diligence is systems and traceability mechanisms supported by adequate documentation and independent verification. Implementation emphasizes risk assessment and management and encourages continuous improvement. Right now, there is a “rally” in developing systems.

Solutions for Hope is a collaborative platform that supports companies, civil society organizations, and governments working collaboratively to responsibly source minerals from regions experiencing conflict, in a package that enables risk management and recognition for participating companies stepping up to support local economic opportunity through their sourcing decisions and policies.

On February 19, 2014, in Medellin, with support from the Embassy of Canada and several partners, Resolve convened a multi-stakeholder consultation to explore opportunities to apply the Solutions for Hope model in Colombia. Participants considered voluntary programs that would result in traceable Colombian gold production in accordance with OECD due diligence requirements. Voluntary pilot programs support in-region systems development and encourage communication and partnership between leading upstream, mid-stream, and downstream actors.

Emerging from the meeting is Cadenas de Paz (CAPAZ), a Solutions for Hope Project in Colombia. In the coming months, we anticipate launching multiple pilots to test various elements of traceable, verifiable conflict free supply chains for gold, tantalum, tungsten and tin in Colombia, and producing several resources to assist those wishing to participate in these supply chains.