Event: Mining and development in the Andes

11 February 2013

4 March 2013, 9am – 5.30pm
Institute for the Study of the Americas, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Click here to book. Join the PSG for discounted entry.

Mining activity has the potential to bring significant developmental benefits to countries in the Andes. However, as resources are exhausted, governments are turning to exploration in less desirable areas and proposing projects which may cause serious environmental damage. This has increasingly resulted in conflict with local communities and raises questions about how to manage and regulate the extractive industries. There are also broader debates about the risks and dangers associated with depending on a handful of commodities to sustain national economies, particularly when these are non-renewable.

Even while governments pursue 'extractivist' policies, innovative alternative development proposals are emerging from civil society and from governments themselves. Both the Bolivian and Ecuadorian governments have included the language and principles of vivir bien in development plans and laws. Others prioritise in-country processing of raw materials or a move away from export-based, growth-centred strategies. Another approach is simply to better regulate large-scale mining investment so as to maximise its spread effects and contribution to local development.

Speakers will include:

Anthony Bebbington Ph.D.
Higgins professor of environment and society, Clark University and research associate, Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales.

Jose Pimentel Castillo

Vice-president of COMIBOL, the Bolivian state mining company, and former mining minister of Bolivia.

Carlos Monge Ph.D.
Latin America regional coordinator of Revenue Watch Institute and senior researcher at Peru's Centre for the Study and Promotion of Development.

Joan Martinez-Alier Ph.D.
Professor of economics and economic history, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

Carlos Larrea Ph.D.
Professor of development, Universidad Central del Ecuador.

Mirtha Vasquez
Lawyer and director of Peruvian environmental NGO GRUFIDES.

Rosemary Thorp 
Emeritus fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford, and former director of the university's Latin American Centre.

Hugh Elliot
Head of Government Relations, Anglo American.

Dr. Jessica Budds
Senior lecturer, School of International Development, University of East Anglia.

H.E. Julio Muñoz-Deacon
Peruvian Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Organised in conjunction with the Bolivia Information Forum and the Institute for the Study of the Americas. 

Related information will be published here.

All articles

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Society and Conflict

    Peru’s indigenous and peasant communities continue to suffer political marginalisation and discrimination. Insufficient consultation with such groups over political and developmental decisions has fostered feelings of disenfranchisement and led to elevated levels of social conflict.

  • Climate Change

    Two important reports on the impacts of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC ) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios and the Stern Review, place Peru as one of the countries that will be most affected by the effects of climate change.

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