By: Carlos Vargas, professor National University of Colombia
The development of commodities is often seen from opposite poles, especially when valued from the conceptions of progress in a nation.
For some, this promotes scenarios of environmental destruction and social deterioration. For others, when properly exploited, it becomes an opportunity for wealth and sustainable development. Far from any inclination and independent of the sovereign exercise to be exploited, they should be seen as a competitive advantage, compared to other countries that do not possess such wealth. In addition to being a potential path of well-being for the communities that surround them.
To the rhetorical arguments, negative at all costs about what the exploration and exploitation of mining-energy resources means, we must put other charges with more optimistic evidence. For example, if socio-political, economic and environmental conditions permit, the exploration of commodities strengthens three State insurance pillars:
. Economic Dynamics
Therefore, every time we start exploratory projects led by the State and seconded by private capital, we have the opportunity to improve our knowledge of our territory, the soil, the subsoil and the surrounding environmental components. For this reason, territoriality is a commitment to knowledge to improve the administration of the country and favor the adequate development of infrastructure when required. It is not the same to plan the construction of a road or a bridge in a certain area, without the presence of studies derived from the exploration, to carry them out in places where advanced geologists and engineers invested important resources for their study.
Similarly, technical, environmental and social teams, which pave the way for exploration, bring short and medium term investment. mobilizing capital to remote areas favors greater economic dynamism and social interaction. The latter is equivalent to sharing with communities part of the wealth that is concentrated in many urban centers. Likewise, in those remote regions, where the presence of the State seems meager or ephemeral, the advanced explorations bring with them the presence of public authorities and veterans that lead new institutional visions. In such approaches one has the opportunity to claim rights and duties to communities where the priorities of former governments have been marginal. Under this scenario, the exploration and production of mining-energy resources is welcome, as long as they guarantee social and environmental sustainability, and generate wealth for all Colombians.
Carlos Vargas is an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences at the National University of Colombia, Bogotá headquarters. Vargas is a geologist and PhD in Geophysics and has been an advisor to the National Basic Sciences Program – Colciencias (Earth Sciences); corresponding member of the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences; and technical assistant director of the ANH.