International capital versus local population: The environmental conflict of the Tambogrande Mining Project, Peru

Roldan Muradian, Joan Martinez-Alier, Humberto Correa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We characterize a social clash over a gold mining project in terms of perception of environmental risks, preferred decision-making mechanism, trust in experts and government institutions, and fairness in the distribution of burdens and benefits. The results reveal that 85% of the local population were against the project. Disagreement between experts, the local population, and the mining company, distrust in institutions, and the lack of a participatory procedure for deciding local development strategies create serious difficulties in legitimizing the project assessment and approval. It seems that a "technical" solution is not possible due to the existence of conflicting value systems. We arrive at the conclusion that, in the present case, the final decision can be legitimized only if the adopted decision mechanism represents a shared meta-value principle, that is, direct democracy. However, the definition of the appropriate geographical scale for the voting process remains a contested issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-792
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Volume16
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2003

Keywords

  • Environmental conflicts
  • Environmentalism of the poor
  • Gold mining
  • Governance
  • Peru
  • Procedural power
  • Transnational corporations

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