Reports underline need for improved natural resource governance
29 July 2016
The incoming government of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has given every possible signal that the more successful use and governance of Peru's natural resources will be a cornerstone of its development strategy. This stance will have only been reinforced this week by a Mining Ministry report showing that Peru has the largest reserves of gold, silver, zinc and lead in Latin America. In the case of silver, it has 24% of the world's reserves
Another opportune report came last week in the form of a World Bank-Wilson Center summary of a seminar on 'Natural Resource Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean: Social and Environmental Policies for Inclusive Growth'. The consensus of this high-level group of analysts was that while themes of taxation and the form of contracts were important, far more important were three local-level matters: the importance of early dialogue with affected communities, strategies to build trust (above all, transparent and intelligible information), and a deep knowledge of the context in which dialogue needs to take place.
These three elements were stressed by the speaker with particular knowledge of Peru, Professor Anthony Bebbington, Clark University and a PSG member. On a positive note, he praised the work of the Defensoría del Pueblo and Propuesta Ciudadana as important initiatives, the former in “building capacity to transform conflicts into proposals” and the latter for its work in generating data. An interesting initiative in building trust that Peru might learn from was highlighted by Alberto Garcia Hurtado, executive president of the Alianza Valor Minero, a Chilean government initiative: engage all stakeholders at an early stage in discussing impact in all its dimensions before formal consultation starts.
The need for such an initiative and for a strong policy to improve governance at the local level has been constantly in evidence over past months, as we have repeatedly demonstrated. In a continuation of a long-running saga, this last week, total frustration led the various community organisations at Las Bambas to issue a pithy denunciation of what they see as the government's failure to take dialogue seriously. http://www.cooperaccion.org.pe/main/advanced-stuff/cooperaccion-informa/583-pronunciamiento-cotabambas-pide-ser-escuchada Most of the numerous postponements, they say, have been due to the inability of the government to make the time to take part, and there is now grave concern since the window of opportunity for dialogue will last only until mid-August. This behaviour indicates a lack of respect and is generating further tensions, they say.
The report from the Wilson Center and the World Bank is available at