“Metallic Contamination: Impact on the Environment, Health and Society” - 5th International Conference
Oruro, Bolivia, from 13 October 2010 to 15 October 2010
The problem of mining pollution and its impact on the environment, human health and society is common to several regions in Latin America and the world. Sometimes mining activities is carried on near big settlements because some populations and cities have developed around mines and smelters. Remediation of the polluted sites has been a difficult task because of economic, political and social reasons; there is no effective protection for nearby populations. Risk perception in these communities is usually ambivalent and somewhat incoherent. While some populations located far from mining activities express their concern about the impact of metallic elements on the environment and health, others build households on top of mining wastes or close to the mining facilities.
This situation provokes direct interaction between metallic elements, the ecosystems and human society, generating impact. The study of those interactions must be carried out through integrated and multidisciplinary efforts.
In sight of these circumstances, in 2006 there was a first initiative to create an international and interdisciplinary network of researchers, looking forward to handle this subject as a whole. The result was the International Conference "Metals, Environment and Health", held in La Paz, Bolivia and organized by the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD) and the Major University of San Andrés (UMSA). In 2007, the same event was held in Santiago de Chile, in collaboration with the University of Chile; in 2008 it was held in La Paz again, in collaboration with the Program for Strategic Research in Bolivia (PIEB) and in 2009 the Conference moved to Lima, Peru, in collaboration with the Cayetano Heredia University. Replicated annually, our meetings gradually grow in both scientific and socio-cultural richness and diversity.
Continuing this tradition, the IRD, the PIEB, the Oruro Technical University (UTO), the UMSA, the Community of Practice for Ecosystem Approaches to Health in Latin America and the Caribbean (CoPEH-LAC), and the PLAGBOL Foundation announce the Fifth International Conference "Metallic Contamination: Impact on the environment, health and society", which will be held on October, 13-15th 2010 in Oruro, Bolivia.
The goal of the conference is to encourage the encounter between researchers from the various disciplines involved in this matter, in order to continue sharing experiences and different approaches or methodologies. This will strengthen the links already established in former conferences, as well as it will allow generating new bonds.
In addition, we will present the results of the ToxBol Project "Polymetallic contamination and impact on the environment, health and society" before the authorities and social organizations in Oruro. This project was developed in the city of Oruro since 2006, supported by the National Research Agency (France) and involved professionals and researchers from 9 university institutions and 4 countries.
Also, the conference aims to socialize results from other studies as well as exchanging information and experiences with policy-makers and society actors involved in metallic elements pollution.