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CITIZEN PARTICIPATION FOR THE PREVENTION OF SOCIAL CONFLICTS: CASE STUDIES OF PARTICIPATORY ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING COMMITTEES

Por: Lic. Edim Nancy Bahamonde Quinteros, consultora en Gobernanza Ambiental Participativa para el Desarrollo Sostenible y Ph.D. André Xavier, gerente de Programas del Canadian International Resources and Development Institute. 

Abstract

The case studies of the Participatory Environmental Monitoring Committees (CMAP) of Juprog, Orcopampa and Mallay, show the work experience of public participation spaces so necessary to respond to the demand for information and transparency required by communities where mining activity takes place.

This study shows the cases of CMAPs in Orcopampa, Juprog and Mallay. The first is a good reference because of the honors it has achieved and the work it has been doing for over 7 years. In the case of Juprog's unified committee, as it is one of the few that has a tripartite agreement with Universidad Nacional Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo of Ancash and Compañía Minera Antamina, and in the case of Mallay, which started in the exploration process but may soon be closed, it is interesting how the CMAP will have to focus on monitoring the corresponding closure plan, whose activities have already been developed through internships to verify its progress.

The study methodology is based on interviews with different actors (monitors, technical secretariat, government officials, mining companies, peasant communities, regional and local government). This is supported by a focus group (technical secretariats, environmental monitors and experts), considering that the stages CMAPs have are: 1. Convene and organize the committee, 2. Prioritize and create a vision of what will be monitored, 3. Conduct the monitoring and report the results, and 4. Follow up on findings and proposed solutions.

One of the challenges arising from the study is the need to institutionalize them, starting with being recognized by the government as early warning system elements, so that they have a funding source for their activities. Also, the inclusion of women to provide "another perspective" - within the framework of gender policy mainstreaming at different government levels -, permanent training, ongoing training for a group of monitors, assertive communication regarding the results of monitoring and that information management of results is recorded as a baseline.

On the other hand, it provides good practice contributions based on the link between committees and public entities in charge of mitigating the impacts of mining activity, which help to face challenges and improve government policies within the Sustainable Development Goals framework.

Finally, citizen participation reflected in CMAPs should be considered as a component of the mining activity's economic process, since transparency and multi-stakeholder dialogue help build trust, foster development, prevent social conflicts and provide sustainability to the mining sector.


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