The Future of Natural Resource Extraction in Latin America


February 7, 2013


Voz de América’s Celia Mendoza reported live Tuesday from the launch of Americas Quarterly’s Winter 2013 issue on natural resource extraction in Latin America, which took place at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas in New York.

The event, entitled “Natural Resource Extraction: Where Are We Heading?” featured panelists Maj. Gen. Richard L. Engel, the director of the environment and natural resources at the National Intelligence Council, as well as AQ author Bernice Lee, research director of energy, environment and resource governance at Chatham House. During a discussion moderated by AQ Editor-in-Chief Christopher Sabatini, both panelists discussed the impact of natural resource extraction on national security, the environment, and economic and social development.

“There’s always a great risk to the economy for states that depend too much on natural resources,” said Sabatini in an interview with VOA.  Sabatini said that resource producers must be especially conscious of price volatility, and ensure that taxes and royalties invested in public resources have an impact at the local level. High-tech mining equipment and other technology “comes from abroad and generates fewer opportunities for local workers,” he added.

In a special section of the new issue on natural resource extraction, AQ analyzes how three Latin American countries—Chile, Colombia and Peru—have managed natural resource extraction projects in the areas of governance, community relations and consulta previa (prior consultation), value-added economic development, and the environment.

Watch the Voz de América video here.

Read panelist Bernice Lee’s article in the Winter 2013 issue of Americas Quarterly, “The Geopolitics of the Modern Resource Boom.”

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