CATALINA COCK

Languages Spoken: 
English

Creating a market for green gold

Ashoka Fellow, Colombia


Catalina has created the Corporacion Oro Verde mining model to promote green gold mining techniques, fair pricing and commercial contacts in order for residents of Choco to go into the gold mining business themselves. To restore the degraded land, Catalina promotes ancient non-polluting extraction techniques. In addition, green gold diggers commit themselves to restoring the landscape after they have finished mining, participating in forestry and sylvi-culture activities like replanting trees, rotating crops, and fishing. Known as "analog forestry," this system has already been successfully implemented in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Australia and Ecuador, with the purpose of ending communities' dependence on mining, improving their food security, and empowering them to effectively manage and protect their land. She is currently living in Amsterdam, Holland, advocating opening the European market to Oro Verde.Catalina Cock observed that in the Choco region of Colombia, small communities on the edge of the rainforest were renting their land to gold-mining operations as the only way to make enough money to survive. But when these operations pulled out, they often left the land unsuitable for agriculture, further marginalizing the people of Choco. Catalina is working with the people of Choco to enable them to take up gold mining themselves, using small scale environmentally friendly mining techniques rather than allowing corporations to destroy their land. 

Speech Topics:

  • Green gold
  • Globalization and open markets
  • Environmentally-friendly resource extraction
This article was originally published on May 13, 2016
Citizen Sector Economics
Environment