The overall goal of the U.S. Government in providing technical support and training under the Addressing Biodiversity-Social Conflict in Latin America (ABC-LA) program was to improve indigenous/minority community and local/regional governmental capacities to better address conflicts (potential and on-going) in the extractives sector that may negatively impact areas of significant biodiversity, thus leading to greater inclusion of marginalized groups. Inclusion encompasses indigenous/minority communities active participation in the decision making processes of planned, or on-going, extractive enterprises that have the potential to negatively impact their lands, societies, livelihoods, and biodiversity. Enhancing the ability of people, communities, and local/regional governments to address complicated issues surrounding extractive activities directly works towards USAID’s mission to (1) build local sustainability and partnerships, (2) foster innovation, and (3) strengthen USAID’s capacity to deliver results. Extractive activities primarily refer to mining (alluvial and hard-rock) and hydrocarbon enterprises. A key focus of this project was to strengthen organizations, including applied research centers that work on preventing and mitigating conflicts arising over extractive activities. Developing and disseminating applicable tools for improved conflict management was a project priority.
Select South and Central American countries were identified as priorities for USAID conflict alleviation work in the LA region; this project therefore focused primarily on these LA sub-regions. During the first two years of project implementation, the project focused on Guatemala, Colombia and Peru; complementing LA bilateral Mission work in the area of conflict management.