Roşia Montană doesn't only belong to some of us... but to the entire country... and its patrimony to all of Europe.
Dr. Ioan Piso, President of the Rosia Montana Cultural Foundation


Good News Now But What’s Next for Rosia Montana?

For all of us against RMGC’s gold mining project in Rosia Montana, there has been a lot of good news, recently: powerful protests erupted in streets throughout Romania, an unjust law was rejected by the parliamentary commission, a British study commissioned by Romania’s ministry of culture and funded by Pro Patrimonio deemed Rosia Montana unique in the world and worthy of UNESCO protection. So what do we do with this shifting of the balance from RMGC to the opposition?


We keep the pressure on! Now, more than ever, the opposition should continue the good fight and seek a “knockout punch.” Now is the time to form meaningful partnerships with powerful and influential people in government, industry and the academic world though they may have supported the mining project. When RMGC falls, a vacuum will be left and the opposition should seek, now, to sow seeds of partnership so that the opposition has a relevant voice in the development of Rosia Montana as a model of sustainability. By acting now, we will have a voice in Rosia Montana’s future.


In North America and Europe, numerous examples abound of how unrestrained development can destroy a community’s quality of life. Imagine a developer coming to Rosia Montana intent on making a profit from the tourists and building a line of ugly, commercial hotels or a shopping center atop the ridge overlooking Rosia Valley! Make no mistake; RMGC is just the first obstacle to building a sustainable community – another obstacle will come from developers seeking monetary gain from the tourists at the expense of the historical and aesthetic significance of the area.


What can we do? Start by making friends with your enemies. Local and regional politicians, like the mayor and county officials, will not always support the gold company. Once RMGC’s boat begins to sink, the rats will jump ship. However, instead of treating them as rats, treat them, instead, as misbehaving children. Welcome them with open arms and begin to build relationships with them in order to make Rosia Montana a model community. This does not mean to ignore their past actions; it only means to bring them over to the opposition’s side with a watchful eye. Let us be forgiving, but not stupid.


Now’s the time to act. RMGC will continue to attempt any means at securing the government’s approval for the project, both legitimate and underhanded. They have done it before, and with billions at stake for their stockholders, we can expect more of the same. However, by acting now, with skill and integrity, their chances of success diminish. Let’s build friendships in the halls of Parliament and in the streets of Romania and together, build a better Rosia Montana, not only for Romanians, but for all the world.



Where is Roşia Montană?



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Gold FuturesConflict in Rosia Montana: A Golden Opportunity

The Master was asked “O Sir, how do you have time to teach all your students in the ways of Life?” The Master smiled and replied, “I don’t need to teach all my students. I only need to put two together and they will teach each other.”

Conflict is a part of life. A cloud dissolves when it meets warm air on a summer day. A seedling cracks solid rock in order to find the sunlight. An owl fights crows for the right to live and hunt in the forest.

In human beings, conflict arises when two people come together with opposing desires based upon different value systems. In Rosia Montana, this conflict includes the issue of fundamental human rights; the right of a person to live on the land of his fathers, the right to work and prosper, the right to a clean environment, the right to sell one’s property regardless to whom it benefits.

Such rights seldom remain isolated from each other. Often, the rights of one are at conflict with the rights of another. In Rosia Montana, for example, the right to work for an open pit mining company is at odds with the right of another to live in a community free of the risk of environmental and cultural degradation.

Can these rights coexist?

The 2007 PBS film Gold Futures shines a light on this question by presenting opposing views of Rosia Montana Gold Corporation’s (RMGC) controversial plan to create the largest open pit mine in Europe, displacing hundreds of residents. One point becomes clear; conflict is a part of life and if we accept the lessons it brings, we, as individuals, will become clearer about what is important in life and within ourselves. It’s an opportunity to understand each other and in the process, who we are and where we want to go: as individuals, as a community and as a nation.

The residents of Rosia Montana must choose; the removal of four mountains, as proposed by RMGC, is simply too devastating to the cultural and natural landscape to allow for the rights of both to co-exist. Indeed, we, as Romanians, must also choose, for Rosia Montana’s patrimony, unique in the world, is a national treasure.

Rosia Montana is a golden opportunity; by examining the issues and the views of both sides, we shall come to better understand our place in this world, what is important and what should be protected for future generations. In this way, the conflict in Rosia Montana becomes not a curse but a blessing for a better world.