Conference: Natural Resources, Democracy and Development in Latin America

Issue: Grants

Country: Latin America

With funding from the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, RWI is providing support to Grupo Propuesta Ciudadana to arrange an international seminar for EI countries in Latin America to discuss the relationship between extractive industries and democracy in the region and to promote debate among CSOs, the private sector and governments interested in developing a common agenda for improving transparency in the oil, gas and mining sectors. The current period of high prices has fueled an open debate in Latin America about the state's role in the regulation, promotion and production of non-renewable resources. In some cases this is the result of countries wanting to receive a larger share of the revenues generated from the extractive industries as a well as greater pressure on governments to legitimize quasi-democratic regimes by pursuing policies aimed at poverty alleviation. The strong emergence of civil society actors in the region is additionally highlighting the importance of policies aimed at mitigating the environmental impacts of resource exploitation, and in some communities conflicts between locals and the companies are on the increase.

It is in this vein that RWI and GPC began discussions on ways to present revenue transparency initiatives to a broader set of actors (CSOs, governments, and companies) interested in mitigating conflict, generating revenues that can be spent of development projects, and implementing sound fiscal policies that will benefit both central and local government. The seminar will be an opportunity to promote dialogue among civil society, the private sector, and government throughout Latin America as well as exchange ideas and experiences linked to extractive industry initiatives.