ENGOV (www.engov.eu) was a collaborative research project funded by the European Commission (2011-2015). It had ten research partners from latin America and Europe and was coordinated by CEDLA. The project focused on the obstacles and possibilities for sustainable production systems that can generate both economic development and a more equitable knowledge input and distribution of benefits across ethnic, socioeconomic and gender lines in order to decrease poverty, exclusion, and environmental degradation in Latin America. The project’s central objective was to understand how environmental governance is shaped in Latin America and to develop a new analytical framework for environmental governance in the region.

The official project website that can still be visited is www.engov.eu. Here you can find all the information and results of the ENGOV project.

ENGOV Publications

The books ‘Environmental Governance in Latin America’ (Palgrave 2016) and ‘Gobernanza Ambiental en América Latina’ (CLACSO 2015, also available in Portuguese), written by the key researchers of the ENGOV project, study the nature of contemporary environmental governance in Latin America and the possibilities for more sustainability and socio-environmental justice. The books make a distinction between the historical and current social and economic context in which the use of nature takes place. Important contemporary political changes in environmental governance are discussed, and new initiatives are analyzed. The books are Open Access and available online. They can also be purchased in print at CLACSO in Argentina (Spanish and Portuguese), and in hardcover and softcover book from Palgrave MacMillan (English version).

Click on the books below to download the Open Access versions:

gomiamSmall-scale gold mining and social conflict in the Amazon:
Comparing states, environments, local populations and miners in Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Peru, and Suriname

Project goalbuurmonsters

Researching how to resolve conflicts caused by small-scale gold mining in the Amazon


Over the last few decades, the growth in small-scale gold mining has resulted in environmental problems and socio-political conflicts in the Amazon. The countries affected include Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Suriname. Uncontrolled polluting activities of small-scale gold mining often threaten the livelihoods of indigenous peoples. Cross-border tensions arise when miners from one country invade another, or smuggle gold between countries. With the recent instability in the world economy driving up the price of gold, and with techniques becoming more mechanised, the scale of the problems is increasing. As few national governments know how to respond to these developments, evidence-based policy responses are urgently required. These are what this project aims to provide.

Project description

The first phase of the project was from January 2011 to 2013, and was dedicated to a comparative analysis of the different political and environmental situations of the local populations and of the miners themselves.
Our research acknowledges the economic motivations and cultural dimensions affecting both of these groups. In the second phase, from January 2013 to April 2016, the main objective is to contribute to the elaboration of more adequate public policies regarding small-scale gold mining and enhance mining activities’ environmental, social and economic sustainability.
By focusing on the development of platforms and methodologies to overcome lack of knowledge and understanding between the main stakeholders and by creating a network and partnership between academic experts, politicians, local communities and small-scale miners, our project team wants to foster  innovative, interdisciplinary and anthropological approaches, which form the basis for new policy initiatives.


Project Coordinator

Dr. M.E.M. de Theije

For more information:



  • Small-scale gold mining in the Amazon

  • Publication
    Small-scale gold mining in the Amazon.
    The cases of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Suriname

  • This publication is a joint result from the GOMIAM project. In this book, the contributors give a situation analysis of small-scale mining in five countries in the wider Amazon region. This work comes from a base line study that is part of the GOMIAM project. The contributors of this booklet are all involved in the GOMIAM project as researchers.
    They have different disciplinary backgrounds, which is reflected in the broad scope of the ethnographic, economic, technical and political data collected in this book.

    Full document: click here

  • For a hardcopy of the booklet, please contact the GOMIAM Secretariat in Amsterdam via info <at> gomiam.org

  • In May 2013, GOMIAM organised an internal workshop on Policy advocacy and Communication of Research Results in Lima, Peru. The participants in the meeting also presented their research work during a seminar at the Catholic University of Lima PUCP about small-scale gold mining. As a result, project coordinator Marjo de Theije was interviewed by the PUCP newspaper Click here for the entire interview:

    Intervieuw Marjo de Theije