ECC Platform Library

 

Conflictos Socioambientales y Gobernanza Ambiental en la Gestion Local

20 November, 2014
Cristina Pinto

» English Version

Durante las últimas dos décadas, en América Latina y el Caribe se puede observar un significativo resurgimiento de la institución municipal, resultado de una tendencia descentralizadora en la región, lo cual plantea nuevas competencias, posibilidades y desafíos para la gestión local. En muchos países, el aspecto ambiental ha adquirido importancia en los procesos de formulación de políticas a nivel local, y se ha visibilizado en los planes de desarrollo y ordenamiento territorial.

Los procesos de descentralización y las competencias de los gobiernos locales y su implementación con frecuencia son fuente de conflictos. Se puede mencionar temas como el servicio de agua potable y saneamiento, el manejo de los residuos so?lidos, la contaminación ambiental, el uso del suelo y la zonificación, e incluso actividades extractivas que si bien en muchos casos no son competencia de los gobiernos locales, implican procesos donde confluyen una diversidad de actores y sectores  en el territorio.

La gobernanza basada en principios como legitimidad, participación, rendición de cuentas, eficacia, equidad, y visión estratégica constituye un elemento clave para el desarrollo sostenible. Sin embargo, América Latina se encuentra frente a una creciente conflictividad ambiental y social, como consecuencia de un inadecuado manejo de los recursos naturales, el acceso limitado a la información y la existencia de pocos espacios de diálogo multisectorial a nivel local, nacional y regional.  

En este contexto, Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA) en colaboración con la Cooperación Alemana (GIZ), la Asociación de Municipalidades del Ecuador, la Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar y el Grupo Confluencias, organizó el VII Foro Regional sobre Transformación de Conflictos Socioambientales en América Latina, los días 16 y 17 de septiembre de 2014 en la ciudad de Quito, Ecuador. Desde su primera edición en el ańo 2005, el Foro Regional ha logrado consolidarse como un referente de dimensión regional, ofreciendo un espacio valioso para el debate, el intercambio de experiencias, aprendizajes, metodologías y estrategias, procurando la construcción colectiva de conocimientos sobre la temática.

En sus nueve ańos de vida, el Foro ha abordado diferentes aspectos de la transformación de conflictos socioambientales entre los cuales están: los desafíos de la transformación, la prevención de conflictos, el fortalecimiento de capacidades, la interculturalidad como elemento crucial para la transformación, buenas prácticas para la transformación de conflictos y la minería. En esta ocasión, la temática del foro giró en torno a los roles y retos de los gobiernos municipales frente a la gobernanza ambiental. El evento contó con la participación de 200 asistentes, provenientes de Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Guatemala, Colombia, Perú, Venezuela y Ecuador, quienes durante los dos días reflexionaron acerca de los procesos de descentralización en la región y las oportunidades que abren estos procesos para la gobernanza ambiental y la transformación de conflictos socioambientales.

María Soledad Quiroga Trigo de la Fundación UNIR, Bolivia, definió a la gobernanza como la gestión y toma de decisiones sobre  bienes y recursos ambientales con participación del Estado, actores económicos y de la sociedad, a través de distintas formas de asociación y coordinación. Además, enfatizó que  para que la gobernanza ambiental pueda darse de manera adecuada, es imprescindible contar con un Estado fuerte aunque no autosuficiente, una sociedad organizada y activa y actores económicos privados involucrados.  La aplicación de buenos principios de gobernanza ambiental contribuye a un desarrollo integral sostenible y requiere el acceso suficiente y adecuado a la información pública, la cooperación e interactividad entre los actores, la descentralización en la toma de decisiones y la voluntad política necesaria.

Según lo manifestado por Rubens Barbery Knaudt, Director de CEPAD (Bolivia), en América Latina las tendencias muestran que a mayor grado de descentralización, existe un mayor grado de democratización. La descentralización debería permitir una mejor eficiencia a través de una administración que está cerca del ciudadano, y de los problemas locales.

Los gobiernos locales cuentan con una oportunidad única para transformar conflictos en la medida en que conocen mejor las necesidades de la población, proveen servicios fundamentales para la vida diaria, reciben demandas de manera directa y pueden gestionar de manera directa los conflictos. Además, tienen una mayor cercanía con los actores públicos, privados y sociales, facilitando la coordinación. Asimismo, pueden generar experiencias en gobernanza ambiental local y visibilizar sus resultados. Es así como los conflictos socioambientales pueden contribuir a la construcción de la gobernanza ambiental si plantean demandas legítimas y se gestionan constructivamente.

Por ende, la descentralización constituye una oportunidad para la transformación de los conflictos socioambientales siempre que se consideren elementos clave como recursos técnicos y capacidades, una adecuada articulación institucional en las varias escalas territoriales, una democratización de la información, una transferencia de la toma de decisión y el poder, así como recursos financieros. La descentralización debe ser vista con un proceso que requiere un fortalecimiento continuo, y actualmente, presenta una serie de desafíos para su real efectividad.

La conflictividad y la gobernanza ambiental fueron abordadas en torno a elementos clave que generaron una serie de reflexiones, tomando como base experiencias concretas y sus aprendizajes.

Los procesos de planificación y ordenamiento territorial y su rol en la transformación de conflictos socio ambientales. Los procesos de planificación y de ordenamiento territorial contribuyen a la identificación y transformación de conflictos socioambientales pero dependiendo del contexto pueden exacerbar la conflictividad. Para poder reducirla tienen que complementar las diversas visiones de desarrollo existentes, ser socializados ante el mayor número de actores para ser positivos, acompańar los tiempos locales, considerar la caracterización y zonificación específica del área en cuestión, ser construidos de manera participativa y con valor local, y deben considerar en todo momento la corresponsabilidad.

Conflictividad relacionada con la gestión ambiental urbana. Los temas que generan conflictividad socioambiental en las ciudades tienen que ver con la limitada planificación y un inadecuado ordenamiento territorial, complementado con el incumplimiento de la normativa, el poco acceso a información, las asimetrías de poder, la falta de continuidad entre gestiones sucesivas, los intereses personales, institucionales, gremiales y económicos que no velan por un bienestar común, y la escasa articulación institucional y en muchos casos, la sobreposición de competencias de los actores.  La multiplicidad de actores sin adecuada organización y representatividad, así como la participación débil ocasionan que los conflictos no puedan ser gestionados.  Los conflictos afectan a la gestión local ya que impactan sobre la credibilidad de la acción pública, eclipsan otras acciones positivas, fomentan la polarización política y necesariamente requieren de recursos tanto técnicos y económicos.

Conflictividad relacionada con la gestión del agua desde las competencias de los gobiernos locales. Las diferentes visiones de la población respecto al recurso hídrico causan un escalamiento de la conflictividad socioambiental. Asimismo, la ausencia de políticas públicas sostenibles y normativas coherentes con la realidad, así como planes desarticulados provocan conflictos locales. La descoordinación institucional (horizontal y vertical) constituye una causa estructural de la conflictividad. La relación entre cambio climático y agua es indivisible, lo que plantea la necesidad de generar medidas para la gestión sostenible del territorio y de los recursos hídricos. La participación de los actores en el proceso de adaptación al cambio climático es clave para tener una visión más amplia de la realidad local y así elaborar estrategias integrales para la adaptación.

El cambio climático y la conflictividad socioambiental. El cambio climático presenta un factor de escalada de los conflictos socioambientales locales, ya que  impacta en los recursos naturales así como en la subsistencia de las poblaciones. Asimismo, debilita la gobernanza ambiental y reduce la capacidad de respuesta de las instituciones públicas frente a las demandas de la sociedad. Las ciudades juegan un rol crucial ya que son centros de innovación y resolución de problemas, mostrando cómo muchas consecuencias del cambio climático pueden atenderse mejor desde el ámbito local y de forma integrada.

Participación en el ámbito local. Para lograr que la participación de la sociedad civil en el ámbito local sea efectivamente útil, es necesario identificar a los diversos actores relacionados, su organización social y representatividad, tanto de aquellos del territorio como los de escalas mayores, conocer sus intereses, relaciones y nivel de vinculación con el tema a tratarse. Esta información es clave para a partir de,  definir la forma y mecanismo de participación de cada actor. De esta manera, se logra las metas y objetivos propuestos, apoyándose en procesos de diálogo multisectorial colaborativos.

Buenas prácticas para la gobernanza ambiental y la transformación de conflictos. Existen buenas prácticas a nivel local visibilizadas en los casos presentados durante el Foro Regional. Encontramos ejemplos de la participación social en la toma de decisiones; la corresponsabilidad en el manejo del territorio y sus recursos; los procesos de ordenamiento territorial coherentes incluyendo unidades naturales de gestión como las cuencas hidrográficas; la generación y difusión de información; el fortalecimiento de capacidades de las autoridades y actores locales; la inclusión de conocimientos ancestrales y de áreas rurales en la gestión; el cumplimiento de acuerdos; la construcción de redes y observatorios; la negociación; y el empoderamiento de los actores.

De la misma manera, se identificaron algunos desafíos,  entre los que destacaron:
- El alcance de consensos entre los diferentes actores en la gestión territorial y ambiental.
- El cambio de procesos conflictivos a procesos colaborativos.
- El fortalecimiento de capacidades locales para la adecuada implementación de la descentralización.
- El manejo de la información eficiente como un componente de socialización, rendición de cuentas y prevención de conflictos.
- La reducción de las asimetrías de poder que permitan la gestión por objetivos de beneficio colectivo.
- Una participación ciudadana real y efectiva.
- La inclusión del cambio climático como un factor de escalada de los conflictos socioambientales locales.

Miguel Pellerano, Presidente del Directorio Internacional de FFLA, resumió “nada más productivo que la heterogeneidad de los grupos y la homogeneidad de los objetivos”, para reflejar la gran diversidad de puntos de vista expuestos pero todos bajo un mismo común denominador: caminar hacia una transformación de los conflictos en la región, tomando a los conflictos como oportunidad de cambio social.

Los Foros Regionales sobre Transformación de Conflictos Socioambientales pretenden brindar  un espacio de reflexión y debate. Es un compromiso de la Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano el continuar con la realización de estos eventos de trascendencia regional.

Las presentaciones del evento pueden ser descargadas en el link.

Esta nota se ha elaborado a partir de las ideas e insumos generados por los expositores y participantes durante las conferencias magistrales, paneles temáticos y mesa redonda.
 
Para mayor información contactarse con cristina.pinto@ffla.net

Article
Source
Topic
Capacity Building
Minerals & Mining
Land & Food
Early Warning & Risk Analysis

Region
South America

Topics

Adaptation & Resilience

All countries will need to adapt to some of the environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change that are already unavoidable. Food security, livelihoods, water resource availability and public health are some affected areas. People living in poverty are more vulnerable, having a lower capacity to adapt. Thus, it is essential to promote resilience building. The adaptation and resilience aspects need to be mainstreamed into planning by policy makers and the private sector as well as integrated into development strategies.

Biodiversity & Livelihoods

Nature protection is most sustainable if it essentially contributes to the long-term stability of human needs. Today many regions around the world are confronted with increasing destruction of the natural foundations of life. The consequences of wide-ranging resource destruction are no longer regionally limited, but rather represent a global threat. Those affected are mainly rural populations, who find the sources of their income and the foundations of their way of life swept away. The depletion and destruction of natural resources goes hand in hand with decreasing agricultural yields and increasing poverty, which in turn forces the affected populations to deplete the remaining resources.

Read more

Capacity Building

On the one hand, conflicts are caused by structural factors, such as economic and social inequality or environmental destruction. On the other hand, conflicts are fuelled by a lack of democratic structures, deficient mechanisms of non-violent conflict settlement, inadequate rule of law, the destruction of social and cultural identity and the disregard of human rights. Against this backdrop, development policies have been dedicated to a broad concept of security, which comprises political, economic, ecological and social stability. As a consequence, development cooperation agencies and actors have developed a broad spectrum of approaches for conflict prevention and transformation as well as for sustainable use of natural resources.

Read more

Cities

Sorry, no description found.

Civil Society

Civil society is the first victim of environmental pollution, under-development and conflicts. Economically disadvantaged and politically marginalized population groups are particularly affected by violent conflicts as well as increasing resource degradation. Simultaneously, civil society is a fundamental pillar for implementing sustainable development. It contributes in many ways to strengthening conflict prevention and plays a significant role in the peaceful and democratic development of states. It must be supported to strengthen civil rights, adherence to human rights in general and democratic participation.

Climate Change

Climate change resulting from the emission of greenhouse gases represents one of the vital challenges for international environmental policy. Flooding, droughts, shifting of climate zones and increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events will have serious economic and social consequences for entire regions. The climate problem is also directly linked to the question of future energy generation.

Read more

Climate Diplomacy

To address the challenges posed by climate change, a new profile of climate diplomacy is evolving. This utilises a full range of policies, including development cooperation, conflict prevention efforts, and humanitarian assistance, in addition to more traditional measures of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Moving from a risk analysis of climate-related threats to well-timed preventive action requires a greater commitment to integrating climate change concerns into development, foreign, and security policies. Examples include strengthening diplomatic networks, building new alliances with partners, and raising awareness – not only of potentially negative climate change impacts, but also of opportunities to embark on a sustainable transformation of our societies.

Read more

Co-Benefits

Climate action entails an array of economic, social, political and environmental co-benefits. It provides an opportunity for economic growth and new jobs. Many investments can take into account climate considerations without becoming more costly. Further important co-benefits include: improved energy security, less local air and water pollution, health benefits as well as ecosystem and biodiversity protection.

Conflict Transformation

In order to overcome the structural causes of violent conflicts and thus bring about an improvement in the framework conditions for peaceful and fair development, it is essential to have long term and broadly planned peace development and peace advancement. Various governmental and non-governmental, national and international actors and groups are involved in these processes.

Read more

Development

Climate change and development are inextricably linked. Climate change endangers the development agenda and has the potential to reverse development goals. Furthermore, successful mitigation of climate change heavily depends on development choices around the world. Therefore, development strategies need to be climate-compatible to provide long-term success, and there are viable policy options that support this compatibility. Many mitigation and adaptation activities can present development opportunities to developing countries and avoid the lock-in to environmentally damaging technologies.

Early Warning & Risk Analysis

The reasons for the development and escalation of conflicts and the incidence of risks are multifaceted and complex. Simultaneously, the assessment of the specific causes in the form of risk and conflict analyses can contribute to a better understanding of these processes and make it possible to provide warning of negative developments, or ideally help prevent them. In the context of natural resource use, risks and conflicts have gained increasing attention in the past years. The debate on possible future water wars is merely one example.

Read more

Energy

The well-being of individuals, communities and nations depends on the availability of energy resources. The gap between energy supply and demand appears to be growing, making the world vulnerable to serious economic shocks. At the same time, the burning of fossil fuels causing climate change is one of the vital challenges of international environmental policy. So far, only rudimentary approaches exist for shaping climate and energy security in a sustainable way. The components of a strategy that can contribute to reducing vulnerabilities related to climate change and energy policy include a greater role for renewable energies, the improvement of energy efficiency and a stronger decentralisation of energy supply.

Read more

Environment & Migration

The economic, social and environmental consequences of climate change aggravate the breakdown of eco-system-dependent livelihoods and are likely to become dominant drivers of long-term migration. Natural disasters already cause massive shorter-term displacement and the number of temporarily displaced people is likely to further increase with climate change. For vulnerable populations in vulnerable regions, such as the Sahel zone or the Ganges delta, migration often becomes the sole survival strategy. In order to address climate-related displacement and migration successfully, knowledge of effective adaptation and an improved understanding of how environmental change affects human mobility is essential. 

Read more

Finance

Climate finance, from all sources, plays a key role in supporting and enabling adaptation and mitigation action as well as climate and energy innovation. The Paris Agreement ensured that the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility are at the core of climate finance architecture as entities entrusted with the operation of the Financial Mechanism of the UNFCCC. Increasing climate finance from all relevant public and private sources is crucial. Furthermore, much needs to be done to redirect finance flows to sustainable paths, e.g. reducing fossil fuel subsidies, introducing maritime and air transportation taxes. The conditions for green investment in developing countries should also be improved.

Forests

Forests are disappearing at an alarming rate. Competition for forest resources triggers, exacerbates, or finances numerous crises and conflicts in tropical developing countries. Illegal logging and timber trade foster instability and sometimes violent conflict by strengthening illegal and armed groups, increasing corruption and exacerbating use and claim conflicts among local communities, the state and the business sector. Forests are a vital resource to poor people but they can also become areas of conflict. Sustainable management of forest resources is therefore key to preventing violent conflict over and within forests.

Read more

Gender

Gender plays an important role as a category of conflict for many reasons. The interlinkages between gender, environment and conflicts are complex and much research is still needed. Existing insights suggest that conflicts may worsen gender inequalities that existed before the outbreak of violence. The unequal distribution of land property rights in many parts of the world serves as an example. Moreover, women (and children) are among those most affected by both violent conflict and natural disasters. At the same time, women carry much of the burden of trying to implement rehabilitation measures after crisis events.

Read more

Land & Food

Increasing water scarcity, desertification and crop failures due to extreme weather events are becoming more and more of a threat to global food production. While the world’s population continues to grow rapidly, food production is unable to keep pace. Due to the global food crisis in 2008, the number of hungry people reached the symbolic one billion threshold for the first time – corresponding to about 16 percent of world population. Food insecurity may be a consequence or cause of conflicts. Violent conflicts often lead to the destruction of agricultural infrastructure and means of production, as well as to the displacement of local communities.

Read more

Minerals & Mining

In the past, the discovery and tapping of valuable or strategic resources like valuable minerals, oil and natural gas, particularly in developing and emerging countries, has often led to large scale environmental contamination and negative development. The "resource curse" of some countries shows that the wealth from resource yields is frequently unfairly distributed; instead of serving development it advanced the formation of corrupt elites and in some cases even led to conflicts and civil wars. Measures in various sectors and at all levels are important in order to use the potential of these natural resources in a manner that is sustainable and prevents conflicts.

Read more

Private Sector

The spread of violent conflict not only affects people but also companies located in such regions. Destruction of investments and infrastructure, collapse of markets and trade partnerships, flight and expulsion of employees are phenomena of conflicts and environment-induced crises that directly affect companies in unstable regions. Almost all branches of the economy thus have a clear interest in a stable and peaceful environment for their activities. Conversely, the business sector plays an important role in the interaction of economic growth, social development and a healthy environment, all of which can advance peace and sustainable development. 

Read more

Security

Environmental issues have a significant security dimension. Access to, and overuse of, natural resources often play a key role in civil wars or other forms of internal domestic conflict. This is compounded by climate change and environmental degradation. Climate change is now widely recognised as a non-traditional, risk-multiplying threat that will have increasing security impacts. Key risks with possible implications for human and national security include water scarcity, food crises, natural disasters, and displacement. More preventive diplomacy and advocacy is needed to address the strategic implications of climate and environmental change.

Sustainable Transformation

Sustainable Transformation allows societies to profit from a growing, environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive economy – especially in emerging and developing countries. This requires a higher up-front investment, but the benefits of a sustainable transformation in the medium and long term are significant. For instance, energy cost savings and reducing the impact of price volatility offer major incentives for deploying renewable energies and promoting energy efficiency. Such benefits exist in all key sectors of the economy.

Technology & Innovation

Innovations and technologies are already readily available and affordable but their global diffusion and uptake remains a challenge. Innovation and technology are crucial to achieving ambitious climate change mitigation and adaptation targets. However, research and development often do not receive appropriate public support. Developing countries can leapfrog high-carbon industrialisation phases by adopting, deploying and improving existing innovations and technologies. For this, it is essential to minimise financial, administrative and political barriers.

Water

The availability of freshwater resources in sufficient quantity and quality is essential for the preservation of human health and sound ecosystems. The use of water resources is also vital, however, for economic development: whether for agriculture, industrial production or for electricity generation. The world's freshwater resources are distributed very unevenly in terms of geography and seasons. In addition, water shortage is becoming more prevalent in several regions due to population growth, economic development, urbanisation and increasing environmental pollution. Thus, water resources can hold potential for conflicts between parties who have different interests and needs.

Read more

Regions

Asia

The environment in Asia is already under tremendous pressure as a result of the unsustainable use of land, forests, water and even air in many regions. Climate change will only exacerbate these challenges. Rising sea levels will likely endanger densely populated areas, changes in the monsoon patterns can strongly impact agriculture, melting glaciers will increase long-term water scarcity, and extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall and cyclones can pose further hazards.

Read more

Central America & Caribbean

Natural disasters and water scarcity are key challenges for most of Central America and the Caribbean. These challenges will become even more pronounced as the climate changes. Weak resource and disaster risk management and land disputes pose additional security challenges for large parts of the region. Several countries of Central America and the Caribbean have limited adaptive capacities as they face political instability caused by high social inequality, crime, corruption, and intra-state conflicts.

Read more

Europe

As one of the most developed and most densely populated regions in the world, Europe makes heavy use of its resources, resulting in difficult trade-offs and negative consequences for the environment and ecosystems. Land is used for settlements, agriculture and dense infrastructure, creating problems of soil degradation. Water resources are stressed due to unsustainable agricultural practices. Despite nature protection policies, Europe continues to lose biodiversity at an alarming pace. Some of these trends are exacerbated by climate change, which is expected, for instance, to lead to shifts in water availability.

Read more

Global Issues

Resource scarcities, environmental pollution and climate change are not limited by national borders, but often have a transboundary or even global impact. These issues interact with political stability, governance structures and economic performance, and can trigger or worsen disputes and violent conflicts. Exacerbating some of these trends, climate change is likely to lead to the degradation of freshwater resources, declines in food production, increases in storm and flood disasters and environmentally induced migration. All these developments pose potential for conflict.

Read more

Middle East & North Africa

The geopolitical position of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), its fossil fuel resources, high population growth and the political changes spurred by the Arab Spring all make the region one of the most dynamic in the world. Nevertheless, it is also one of the most arid and environmentally stressed. Dwindling water resources, limited arable and grazing land, high pollution from household and industrial waste, remnants of conflicts and increasing desertification are key environmental challenges.

Read more

North America

Climate change has various impacts on the three North American countries of Canada, Mexico and the US. Canada and the US have well-developed adaptive capacities and foster the strengthening of capacities in other regions as well. With high per capita emissions, these two countries also bear a greater responsibility for a changing climate. Mexico has a sound national strategy for climate change adaptation, yet fewer capacities than Canada and the US. The poorer and rural populations of Mexico are especially vulnerable to climate change, due to an increased sensitivity and a lower adaptive capacity.

Read more

Oceania & Pacific

In Oceania, population growth and economic development trends put a strain on oceanic and island ecosystems. Freshwater scarcity, overexploitation of fisheries, loss of land biodiversity, forests and trees, invasive species, soil degradation, increasing levels of settlement, poor management of solid and hazardous waste and disproportionate use of coastal areas are some of the problems. Climate change exacerbates most of these trends, while also raising questions about the future sovereignty of some island states.

Read more

South America

South America has diverse and unique ecosystems and is very rich in biodiversity. Weak natural resource management, land disputes and extreme weather events bring about significant challenges for the region. While South America accounts for relatively few CO2 emissions, the changing climate will alter its ecosystems and greater climate variability will lead to more hurricanes, landslides, and droughts.

Read more

Sub-Saharan Africa

In many African states, environmental security issues rank high on the political agenda. Throughout the continent, countries suffer from water scarcity, food insecurity and energy poverty. These chronic and worsening resource scarcities have severe livelihood implications and are exacerbated by political conflicts over access to and control over these resources. Climate change may seriously threaten political and economic stability in Africa. It may also put a severe strain on the capacities of states and societies to co-ordinate activities, to communicate and to organize.

Read more