Planning for Social Sustainability in Natural Resource Regions: The Colombian Case


The Colombian Case


Impact: Under the rubric of sustainable livelihood approach, the social sustainability of local communities has increasingly come to be recognised by international organizations as a crucial developmental objective. However implementation of such concepts, particularly in the context of mining and other forms of natural resource extracting economic activities from remote regions of the Global South, are problematic; social objectives frequently face counter narratives of economic growth and environmental conservation. To mitigate these conflicting demands, current development literature had emphasized reorienting the plan- ning system by, firstly, devolving greater power from higher echelons of governance to local agencies and, secondly, making the planning process at the local level more participatory so as to accommodate the concerns of affected local communities. Our research, however, shows that devolution of planning respon- sibilities by themselves are inadequate to meet social sustainability objectives unless there is concurrent efforts to strengthen the capacity of the local agencies on planning matters. Our research is based on case studies of Antioquia and Risaralda, two mining districts of Colombia