AQ Launches Country Reports on Natural Resource Extraction


June 21, 2013


With support from the Ford Foundation, Americas Quarterly partnered with local researchers in Chile, Colombia, and Peru in 2012 to conduct a study of four natural resource extraction investments in each country. All but two of the 12 case studies—a timber investment in Chile and a natural gas project in Peru—were mining projects. The goal was to understand under what conditions investment in natural resource extraction contributed to broader community and national development.

In all three countries, our researchers examined the legal and regulatory framework that governs natural resource investments; the transparency and predictability of the legal and regulatory framework; the system in which public revenue is collected—through taxes and royalty payments—and distributed to national and subnational governments; the quality and efficacy of the national and local state offices in terms of regulating companies, enforcing laws, collecting taxes, and delivering social services; the community context and relations with the state and investors; and the labor and environment practices of the investing companies.

Of course, a central question is how to define broader community and national development. For this, we defined the broader socioeconomic good as comprising several factors. They include: the extent to which natural resource investment contributes to socioeconomic development in the immediate area surrounding the activities, through public and private social programs and economic growth and development; the extent to which investment and public policy have generated value-added growth in the local and national economies; and last, whether these investments have avoided long-term social conflict and helped to build community ties.

Each case study—written in Spanish—represents different lessons in addressing community tensions and the public and economic distortions caused by natural resource extraction investment and the global resource boom.

Download the report from Peru here.

Download the report from Chile here.

Stay tuned for the report from Colombia.

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