Preventing Violence, Building Peace, Extractives in Afghanistan

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Information about Preventing Violence, Building Peace, Extractives in Afghanistan
News & Politics

Published on February 16, 2014

Author: SadafLakhani1



Presentation for the Roundtable on Governance in Afghanistan's Extractive Sector, Social Accountability for Violence Prevention and Peacebuilding, By Sadaf Lakhani

Preventing Violence, Building Peace In the Extractive Sector in Afghanistan By Sadaf Lakhani Roundtable on Governance in Afghanistan’s Extractive Sector November 28, 2012, United States Institute of Peace © by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved.

1. Transitions to durable peace are daunting In countries with high-value natural resources - including timber, oil, gas and mineral - the stakes are high and peacebuilding can be especially challenging. 2. Resource-rich post-conflict countries face particular opportunities and challenges Advantage =natural resources can yield revenues for alleviating poverty, compensating those effected by conflict- creating jobs, creating critical revenues and rebuilding the country and the economy. BUT a number of actors have interests in the outcomes of the reorganization of the state and management of state resources. © by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved.

3. Evidence shows this opportunity is often poorly used, challenges dominate Resource-rich countries do not have a better record in sustaining peace. In fact, resourcerelated conflicts are more likely to experience relapse. 4. The exploitation of natural resources and related environmental stresses can be implicated in all phases of the conflict cycle -contributing to the outbreak -perpetuation and escalation of violence -undermining prospects for peace agreements . Substantial research and guidance on this issue by development agencies: UN Environment Programme, ELI, World Bank, UK ODI © by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved.

Learning from other contexts Lots of ‘bad-case’ examples  Bougainville Discontent with Rio Tinto Panguna mine turned violent. Environmental damage and lack of benefits for local people escalated hostility between the people of Bougainville and the Government of Papua New Guinea. Result= loss of 15,000-20,000 lives, destruction of state infrastructure, closure of the mine which had contributed 20% of GDP, Decade long civil war, and the creation of an autonomous region in PNG.  Sudan and South Sudan: conflict over oil results in continued instability, linked to localized ethnic tensions.  Nigeria: Oil extraction in Niger Delta fueling community grievances over benefits and environ. damage, emergence of armed groups NPVDF, MEND and others. Significant costs to government and damage to mining companies’ assets.  Libya: Rebel militias likely to continue capturing more oil fields and pipelines for financing.  DRC: Likely more than 50% of rare-mineral mines controlled by rebels.  Indonesia, mismanagement of natural gas, laid on top of issues of identity, made for a decades long civil war in Aceh. In West Papua mining continues to be a source of contention and localized conflict, with links to the ongoing succession movement.  Balochistan, Pakistan, where controversy over benefits and corruption is laid upon existing discontent towards the state, and horizontal inequalities has prevented the start of mining operations and fuels the separatist agenda. © by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved.

Conflict context- Afghanistan Afghanistan has already experienced significant linkage between conflict and mineral mining, e.g. financing of anti-Taliban United Islamic Front in the 1990s from emerald mining.  Much of Mineral wealth not controlled by the state  Informal mining conducted by communities for income and fuel  2005, 80% of mines controlled by armed illegal actors (MoMP data)  Complex set of conflict dynamics  Afghanistan also suffers from land tenure disputes, underpinned by long-term, structural issues  Challenges to the central state is not a new phenomenon. Afghanistan statebuilding has historically been difficult  History of inter-ethnic tensions and domination by elite group  Criminal networks that often overlap/links to corrupt power brokers and the state  Legacy of decades of conflict with both regional and international dimensions Also  Weakly organized civil society beyond traditional structures © by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved.

Preventing conflict: Why social accountability is key • Perceptions of injustice in benefits sharing a key driver of conflict in extractives. • Negative Social and particularly environmental impacts from extractives can become triggers for escalating violent conflict. • Weak formal accountability structures require supplementing to be able to voice citizens interests and concerns. Strong social accountability mechanisms should be invested in, situated within broad governance reform. • These will help to ensure perceptions of equitable distribution of benefits (often simply due to transparency) and effective management of grievances related to extraction. • Build legitimacy of central Afghan state, take power away from armed non- state actors who challenge the state. © by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved.

Valuable foundations laid by Ministry Mines and Petroleum What the MoMP has done so far towards social accountability are all very important foundational steps: Evolving website which has a clear information – in particular a social development section with a social policy Developed and are implementing with the technical assistance of the WB a resettlement action plan, based on WB OP. on involuntary resettlement, targeting the 10 villages, with a generous compensation package that also provides lessons, as a pilot, for what could be done elsewhere Started publication of all contracts and ancillary documents, following Karzai’s decree no. 45 is a fantastic achievement already  Initiated the establishment of the GRM for the RAP, that would help mitigate grievances before they become acute & violent © by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved.

Local communities attend ribbon-cutting ceremony at Qara Zaghan Gold Mine, Baghlan Province © by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved.

Recommendations for MoMP 1. Monitor extraction activities and local areas to ensure contract and regulation compliance and to see what kinds of impacts-negative and beneficial. Involve impacted communities as this already helps diffuse tensions. 2. Develop and finance local plans for mitigating negative impacts and capitalizing on extractives for economy and human development for communities. Baseline data like that provided by IWA for Qara Zaghan and Hajigak will help ( above) 3. Engagement action plan that is developed in consultation with communities and their representatives: this should the elements that we have discussed: information feedback systems, consultation structures, a GRM mechanism that can address broader concerns with the mines. 4. Support capacity development -Capacity development plan for the Ministryidentifying key skills, as well as resources that are needed to implement the above plans, and what already exists. Same for communities and organizational structures, support them to play their role in social accountability. © by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved.

Guidance points Civil Society Engagement Some words of caution /guidance; The how of what is done is as if not more important that the how. Engagement with communities can take many forms, its not easy to do, in that its hard to get right in a way that create a meaningful relationship with government and between different groups in society:  Structures and spaces for engagement: Often, governments or donors may set up structures that compete with existing ways in which people associate and collaborate with each other, or with the state. Capitalize on existing mechanisms – such as Shuras, instead of creating new ones, but being cognizant of what their short falls might be. Allow people several options for how to engage- formal consultations, open sessions, community liaison officers,etc.  Who is the ministry going to engage with?: communities impacted by the mining go beyond those who have been resettled. Also, a closer examination of the civil society sector would be able to inform you of what kinds of representative organizational forms exist, and who they exclude. NGOs may be very knowledgeable about technical issues but may require assistance and encouragement from the ministry to ensure that they represent communities.  Often if people are ‘participated’: unwillingly or in forms that they don’t feel are relevant to their interests, they can actually feel disempowered or manipulated. Resentment arises from meaningless or tokenistic participation, or for corrupt or questionable ends and elite capture of the participatory process. © by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved.

Guidance points 2  Active information and feedback mechanisms: Providing information should be part of a communications strategy that complements the action-plan and the structure established.  Going beyond providing information: The other side of that also, is that people feel that they are being told, but not being listened to. Provision of information is simply one part of a process of active and constructive engagement.  Matching supply with demand: Resentments can also arise if communities feel that they are being listened to, but nothing is being done. Need to be able to match demands and promises with capacity, and to manage unrealistic expectations.  Be fair: be cautious about overly generous compensation packages, for example, which if you are not able to offer in subsequent resettlements, can create perceptions of injustice between communities. © by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved.

Guidance points 3  Be transparent: this is a learning process, and there will inevitably be changes along the way- be transparent about those changes and clear about the reasons for them. Major decisions or changes may also necessitate special consultative sessions.  Research from the WB and elsewhere shows that capacity of government institutions is a key factor in ensuring real engagement with communities in in achieving the desired results. Mapping and strengthening existing skill-sets and resources for engagement is important.  Capacity of organized civil society or communities is also key: if they have no time, poorly informed or little understanding of the information that is being given and few incentives, the quality of the MOMP participation or engagement with communities is severely impacted. Civil society in Afghanistan is weak beyond traditional structures. Strengthening capacity and addressing illiberal elements is something that will take many years. © by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved.

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