Illegal gold mining in the Amazon region of Peru causes a variety of damages to the environment, human health, and societal well-being. 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 improving 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 sustainable solutions. Through this project, the authors discuss the vision and methods of this discipline and its contribution to the goal of finding sustainable solutions in extractive industries.

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