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Free Content Extractive Industries and Conflict Prevention: Social Intervention Model for South America

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The impressive development of the extractive industries in South America in the last few decades has contributed significantly to the region’s economic stability as well as generating many challenges to the social viability of its operations. Widespread dissatisfaction in neighbouring communities has seen the expansion of social resistance to the extractive industries, resulting in violent episodes and high costs not only for the private companies involved but especially for governments and local communities. For that reason, extractive companies are prioritizing the development of more effective relationship mechanisms which could enable the timely prevention of natural resource conflicts. These companies are challenged to find a new way of doing business, recognizing the fact that a reactive response in crisis conditions generates a significantly higher cost than managing social risks through a daily relationship with stakeholders. Considering the effects on the viability of extractive industries in South America, this article analyses the main sustainability drivers of conflict that should be taken into account when defining initiatives to improve natural resource governance. From this perspective, a social intervention model has been proposed to contribute to the prevention of social conflicts associated with extractive industries and to build trusting relationships and engagement with key stakeholders. Through this long-term effort, extractive activity could contribute to sustainable development by acting as a catalyst for local economic growth and social change.
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Keywords: Dialogue; Local development; Natural resource conflict; Strategy; Sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2015

More about this publication?

  • Business, Peace and Sustainable Development (BPSD) aims at understanding the role of the business sector in enhancing peace and reducing violence, and contributing to sustainable development. On the other hand, it is also aimed at understanding the importance of peace to the economy and markets. While some research has been published on business and peace and peace through commerce, BPSD is the first journal dedicated to mutual contribution of business and peace.

    Peace is the absence of violence, but it also incorporates social justice, human rights, stability and sustainable development. Peace is essential to address the global challenges facing humanity today. Without peace we will be unable to achieve the levels of cooperation, inclusiveness and social equity necessary to solve problems such as climate change, global poverty and the health crisis. It is acknowledged that most businesses and industries need a peaceful market to operate and assure a smooth supply chain. As such, the relationship between business and peace is an on-going and mutual one, and needs to be further developed and investigated.

    Corporate Peace is defined as the incorporation of peace and reduction of violence into a company's strategy, decision-making and the value chain in order to raise awareness to peace, support and enhance it. Corporate Peace is an umbrella concept that contains business, social and strategic dimensions.
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