Unearthing Conflict: Corporate Mining, Activism, and Expertise in Peru
Activism and Expertise
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a key process in the making of social and environmental accountability in mining projects. This chapter argues that the form of the documents produced for the EIA (i.e., their required components, as established in legal frameworks) and the process of making them public (participatory meetings and public forums) can take precedence over their content. Two aspects of the EIA make this possible. First, the risks that are identified in the EIA are those that a company deems to be technically manageable based on the solutions and interventions that it has to offer. Second, the participatory process of the EIA creates collaborative relationships among state agents, corporations, NGOs, and communities. These forms of collaboration strengthen the EIA’s claims of accountability while circumscribing the spaces for opposition to a proposed project.