4, June, 2012
BRIEF

Managing Conflict Through Consultation: Latin America’s Experience

Latin America has seen a surge in consultation processes – taking a variety of forms and pushed by different actors from the state, private companies and civil society.

Experience from Latin America shows how community consultation can be an important strategy used to manage conflict in Extractive Industries activities.  This Brief characterises and analyses the different types of local consultation seen in the region, focusing on the diverse actors that lead the processes and providing illustrative examples of each.  It also describes the main factors that made consultations more widespread in the region and that have improved their effectiveness.  Finally, the Brief draws out lessons that could be useful for other regions aiming to establish or enhance their own community consultation processes.

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Key Lessons:

  • Clear consultation rules and transparency in the process are vital pre-requisites if extractive industry consultations are to be effective.
  • Consultation processes need to be all-inclusive and participatory for extractive projects to acquire social licence and lead to legitimate results.
  • State monitoring and public scrutiny help to legitimise community consultations in the eyes of local, national and international parties.

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