Pascua Lama Project

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Chile like many other Latin American Countries have adopted their own Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) systems. However, many including Chile’s legal framework governing EIA lacks power. Developing their organizational capacity to take full advantage of the potential of EIA as a tool to manage complex social and environmental situations is something they could also improve. The US’s EIA system differs from Chile’s EIA system. In Chile, the EIA is defined as an administrative procedure geared towards ensuring compliance with environmental legislation. (ifc,pp 10) “Under NEPA, EIA is described as a process to incorporate the environmental and social concerns of different stakeholders into the decision-making process of Federal authorities.…show more content…
The Pascua Lama project however is an example of how important local community opinion is needed. In this project, not only were the concerns of the public not addressed, but the formal process for public participation in the SEIA did not work. This conflict changed the perspective of the country about mining, the environment, and the rights of the public. The Pascua Lama is operated by the Canadian corporation Barrick Gold. The project is located between Chile and Argentina. The project has 17.9 millions ounces of proven and probable gold reserves, 697 millions ounces of silver contained in gold reserves with twenty-five years of expected mine life (carlos ciappa, pp). The first environmental impacts study that the mining company submitted to the Chilean authorities neglected to mention the three main glaciers that would be affected by the project. The farmers of Huasco Valley who depend of these glaciers as a source of water are the ones that brought the neglection to the attention of…show more content…
Submitting relatively small projects to the evaluation system involve a much simpler procedure than if the project had been considered as a whole, thus they were able to avoid an environmental evaluation at the national level. When the observations provided by the public were not to be taken into consideration the public protested. The protests in Pascua Lama project led to a change in how public participation and how concerns and opposition is handled. Now, the Chilean mine development is required to address public concerns. Cases like these are needed to set

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