Is it possible to develop extractive industries while preserving the
environment? Several Latin American countries have been attempting to
improve the environmental sustainability of their extractive industry
sectors by developing their legal frameworks, in particular through the
use and adaptation of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) tool.
This Brief focuses primarily on experiences in Peru, where integration
of the EIA into extractive industry policy has been extensive. The Brief
focuses on three particularly noteworthy innovations implemented in
Peru: mine closure plans; regulation and approval mechanisms; and
citizen participation. Overall, the Brief aims to offer an understanding
of the advances, challenges and debates around the implementation of
EIAs when seeking a balance between environmental sustainability and
extractive sector development. The lessons drawn from Peru and other
Latin American countries may be useful for other regions struggling to
balance extractive industry development with environmentally sustainable
approaches to land use.
Incorporating the EIA into environmental management policies can help
countries to build more sustainable extractive industry sectors.
Closure plans represent one mechanism being used to strengthen
environmental management by committing private investors to mitigate the
long-term environmental impacts that typically undermined the
sustainability of extractive projects.
EIA processes should be closely regulated by the state, but
independently evaluated in order to improve transparency and legitimacy.
Damonte, G. ELLA Policy Brief: Improving Environmental Management of Extractives through Environmental Impact Assessments. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2013) 6 pp.