By Laura Maillard and Carole Baudin, User-Centered Product Design Group, HAUTE ECOLE ARC ENGINEERING – HES-SO

Illegal gold mining in the Amazon region of Peru potentially causes a variety of damages to the environment, human health, and societal wellbeing. The people most directly affected – usually through gold production – are communities living in the region.

In this context, we have been working with three regional mining communities to develop the Wanamei project, which aims to contribute to improve local working and living conditions.

In the cosmology of native people of this region – the Amarakaeri – Wanamei means “the tree of life.” This title is representative of the philosophical approach of anthropotechnology, which insists on using local knowledge and practices to design socio-technical solutions.

This photo gallery aims to share a global overview of the Madre de Dios context, issues faced by local miners and our efforts to find – for and with local communities – sustainable socio-technical solutions in extractive industries.