- The institutional regulation of the sustainability of water resources within mining contexts: accountability and plurality
- Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article reviews recent literature on water and mining and uses illustrations from a large gold mine, Yanacocha, operating in Peru, to assess the effectiveness of institutional mechanisms for safeguarding the sustainability of water resources (and water-based ecosystems) in mining regions. The sustainability of water is mainly regulated through what we call ‘upward forms of accountability’: those that depend on the company's compliance with national and international regulations. This erodes and disqualifies existing ‘local’ rights and knowledges, weakening local communities’ formal powers and creating an accountability gap. We conclude that the preservation of water and ecosystems requires enabling institutions that endorse the experiences, rights and knowledge of communities affected by mining, combining existing upward forms of accountability with more downward ones, that build on affected communities’ voices.
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