28 February Feb 2013 1555 28 February 2013

Sustainable Development and Mining Companies: MILPO and AVSI in Peru

On February 19th, AVSI and the Peruvian mining company MILPO presented the study “Implementación de herramientas para la planificación del desarrollo agropecuario de la Comunidad de Chavín- Chincha, Ica” (Implementation of tools for the agricultural development planning of the community of Chavín, Chincha, Ica). The study aims to identify agricultural, breeding and forest potentials  according to the availability of local water and land resources and propose suitable cultivations for local soil and microclimate. The meeting gathered representatives from the local authorities of the District, the community, MILPO and AVSI.
The rural community of Chavín is located in the Andes Mountain range between 910 m and 3670 m a.s.l., on the far side of the coastal province of Chinca, Ica region, traditionally devoted to grazing and small-scale agriculture. The low profitability of both activities, the harsh living conditions and the lack of quality education caused a migration to the city of Chinca, which is the second largest city of the Ica region and, as a consequence, the abandonment of the land of the District.
Since 2005, MILPO has been working in the District of Chavín in the Cerro Lindo mine, located at 2200 m above sea level, in the Río Topará basin, extracting zinc, lead and copper. Due to the lack of water in the area, MILPO implemented a desalination plant to pump sea water to its facilities. Since its first years of activity MILPO has been implementing CSR actions to foster a sustainable development in the community of Chavín.
AVSI-MILPO partnership started in 2012 as AVSI, which has been engaged in cooperation activities in the Ica region since the 2007 earthquake, was asked by the community of Chavín to help identify the most fruitful agricultural activities, taking into account the features of the context. So the study was carried out in partnership with MILPO over a four months period, involving young people of the local community.
The results of the study are a valuable contribution to the Comprehensive Development Plan of the District, mainly with  regard to the strengthening of its supply chains, the extension of cultivation areas and the improvement of productivity and quality of crops.
Mr. Alfredo Peña, Mayor of the District, highlighted the value of the work done for the sustainable development of the community of Chavín.
AVSI-MILPO partnership is a good  example of Corporate Social Responsibility which today is more and more crucial for reaching people in need with basic services and opportunities. Indeed, in joint projects, different stakeholders’ strengths can be maximized and new creative solutions to problems are more likely to emerge. To be sustainable, development needs education, training, skills and job opportunities. AVSI’s experience shows that corporate social responsibility as a core element of companies’ business strategy can produce real and sustainable development which means both economic and social gains.

Andrés’emerging interest for his territory

Andrés Palomino Quispe is a 17-year-old  boy of Marcocancha, an area of the district of  Chavín, who attends the only available high school of the district. He took part in the field activities organized by AVSI and MILPO to collect information for the study. Together with other 15 young people, he was trained in handling the necessary tools  for the study such as GPS, maps, compass. This experience awakened  his interest in learning more about specialized agricultural work  and lead the Human and Social Development Head of the Municipality, Ms. María Antonia Dávila, to promote technical training on agricultural and forestry issues among the youth of the District in order to allow them to become lead players of the community development.