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09 December, 2020

International Experiences of Participatory and Socially Inclusive Renewable Energy Projects


Welcome remarks
  • Adrián Fernández, Executive Director of Iniciativa Climática de México, ICM (Mexico Climate Initiative)
  • Paulina Cerdán, Director of the Centro de Colaboración Cívica, CCC (Civic Collaboration Center)
Panel: Country Case-Studies of Socially-Inclusive Renewable Energy Projects
  • Juan Dumas, Partner, Meliquina Desarrollos and Patricio Zapata, Leader (Lonko) of the Mapuche Millaqueo community, Argentina
  • Luis Felipe Duchicela, Senior Advisor for Indigenous Peoples' Issues, USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance.
  • Kevin Doyle, Environmental & Social Governance International Consultant and principal author of the ‘Power Africa Guide to Community Engagement for Power Projects in Kenya’

Questions and Answers: 15 minutes

  • Soledad Mills, CEO of the non-profit organization Equitable Origin (EO)
  • Francisco Merino, Head of Community Engagement and Indigenous Community Unit of the Ministry of Energy of Chile, and Cecilia Dastres, Head of the Methodology Unit, Ministry of Energy of Chile.

Questions and Answers: 30 minutes.

Concluding Remarks: Moderator, 3 minutes.

Further readings:

Conference Background:

The global and local climate challenges are compelling us to action and in particular to more intense development of renewable energy projects. The model going forward must follow a new path, however, to avoid continuing the same practices that generated these challenges in the first place. Renewable energy requires sectoral planning and project-development that is more inclusive, just and sustainable and ensures that all stakeholders are adequately considered. In particular, those who have been historically excluded from the decision-making process must be integral to the process. One of the major challenges is to develop a process that can incorporate the vision and efforts of all stakeholders.

The conversation about fostering socially inclusive renewable energy projects revolves around articulation of three major areas: The first area is climate mitigation and how to develop strategies that are just and inclusive mitigation. The second area is ensuring that these projects are addressing the national and local necessities in a sufficient, efficient, and sustainable way. The third area for discussion is related to how new infrastructure can address the multi-dimensional poverty in a country, and foster a socially equitable development.

This conference offers a space where different actors can share their visions and experiences on how to achieve these goals of ensuring social inclusion and a wider social participation in the planning and implementation of renewable energy projects.

We can discuss collectively and learn from the different approaches that the energy projects represent. The discussion will contribute to further reflection on the benefits of more socially inclusive energy projects, the opportunities that these can bring, and the ways these might contribute to designing a future capable of addressing the current social, environmental and technical challenges that the world faces.

In so doing, we all will be contributing to this critical agenda.

Panelists’ Biographies

Adrián Fernández Bremauntz, Chief Executive Officer of Iniciativa Climatica de México (ICM) (Mexico Climate Initiative)

He has a degree in Biology-Ecology from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, a Master of Science in Environmental Technology from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, and a PhD in Environmental Sciences from the same institution. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health, and was the winner of the prestigious Robert McNamara Fellowship from the World Bank (1993-94). For his pioneering research on travelers' exposure to air pollutants in Mexico City, he received the Joan Daisey Young Scientist Award from the International Society of Exposure Science. He has extensive experience in the public sector, occupying various positions at the National Institute of Ecology including 6 years as President. Since 2013, he has been the Executive Director of the ICM (formerly LARCI).

At ICM, he oversees the operations and management of the organization, as well as the strategic focus of the interventions in Mexico. Responsible for ICM's fundraising; develops the annual budget under different funding scenarios; maintains coordination and communication with donors; and identifies co-funding opportunities at the regional level.

Paulina Cerdán, Chief Executive Office of the Centro de Colaboración Cívida (CCC) (Civic Collaboration Center)

She has a Master's Degree in Peace, Conflict and Development from the Universitat Jaume I in Spain (UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace) and a Degree in International Relations from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente de Guadalajara (ITESO). She has a Certification in the Design of Restorative Practices (International Institute of Restorative Justice and Law).

She has been part of the CCC team since 2014, she was the director of the Citizen Security area from 2016 to June 2018. She has been in charge of the coordination, design and implementation of participatory processes for the construction of public policies and multi-stakeholder dialogue processes, on issues related to the human rights and justice agenda. In particular: Dialogue Process on the Legal Framework for Justice for Adolescents in Conflict with Criminal Law (2014); Dialogue Process for the Construction of the Law on the Disappearance of Persons in Mexico (2015 to date); and Dialogue Process with Civil Society Organizations regarding the national strategy for the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goal 16 in Mexico (2016-2017).

Juan Dumas, Partner in Meliquina Desarrollos, Argentina

Juan Dumas is a Founding Partner at Meliquina Ltd, a start-up company incorporated in 2016 that structures business partnerships between developers, communities, and investors to share ownership of renewable energy projects in emerging markets.

Juan has over twenty years of experience in environmental and social conflict prevention and resolution. He was part of the UN team that brokered an agreement that ended violence and protests in Ecuador in late 2019. He has worked extensively as a mediator in processes convened under the auspices of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) of the World Bank Group and has provided similar services for other Development Finance Institutions, such as the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation (FINNFUND), the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Earlier in his career, he held leadership roles in Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (Ecuador) and Fundación Cambio Democrático (Argentina), two civil society organisations devoted to promoting dialogue to address conflict and build public policy.

Patricio Zapata, Lonko (leader) of the Mapuche Millaqueo community

Patricio has been the Lonko of the Millaqueo Mapuche community since 2010. He is the former leader of the Indigenous Participation Council both at the national level and for the Central Area of Neuquén, Raquichi Quimunan. He represents his community before public and private institutions.

Luis Felipe Duchicela, Senior Advisor for Indigenous Peoples' Issues for USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance

In June 2019, Luis Felipe Duchicela joined USAID as the Senior Advisor for Indigenous Peoples' Issues in the Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance at USAID's Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance. In this capacity, Luis Felipe advises USAID on matters relating to the rights, needs, and aspirations of Indigenous Peoples internationally and coordinates with interagency colleagues on such matters in meetings with foreign governments and multilateral institutions. Luis Felipe will support the implementation of USAID’s Policy on Promoting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Pro-IP). He will also assess and provide technical assistance to field missions in implementing best practices and effective approaches to supporting the self-determined development goals of Indigenous Peoples’ communities.

Luis Felipe joined USAID after serving as the Global Advisor on Indigenous Peoples at the World Bank for five and a half years (2013-2018) where he assisted World Bank regional and country offices in assessing the situation of Indigenous Peoples and preparing plans and programs that take into account Indigenous Peoples’ ancestral knowledge, cultural identity, legal rights and linkages to natural environments and resources. Luis Felipe led the global dialogue between the Bank and the Indigenous Peoples of the world as part of the reform process of the Bank’s Environmental and Social policies, which culminated in the new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and the new Standard for Indigenous Peoples (ESS7).

Prior to that, Luis Felipe served as the Executive Director of the Amazon Conservation Association, as Regional Director for the Rainforest Alliance and was the first National Secretary (Minister) of Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Minority Affairs of the Republic of Ecuador. Luis Felipe holds a Master’s degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Regional Planning from the Universidad Central del Ecuador in Quito.

Kevin Doyle, Environmental and Social Governance International Consultant; Principal author of the Power Africa Guide to Community Engagement for Power Projects in Kenya

Kevin has 30 years of experience designing and implementing projects in renewable energy, land use and natural resource management, environmental social governance and regulatory compliance, among others, in Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the United States. Kevin was the Community Engagement Advisor for the Power Africa Transactions and Reform Project and is the principal author of the Power Africa Guide to Community Engagement for Power Projects in Kenya. In 2019, he founded the Stakeholder Engagement Practitioners Association of Kenya to create a platform to help raise the standards of stakeholder engagement in the country.

In 2018, he was seconded to KenGen where he worked with senior leadership and a multi-departmental team to develop the company’s Community Engagement Strategy, including a framework for a grievance management mechanism. Kevin then went on to develop a comprehensive Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) for independent power producer, Virunga Power. In the past, Kevin served as the Chief of Party for the USAID-funded Kenya SECURE Project in Lamu, Kenya (a community land tenure and biodiversity conservation project) and worked with the humanitarian and development NGO, Catholic Relief Services, in Burundi.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies & Journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University (1988) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Land and Agrarian Studies from the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa (2014).

Soledad Mills, Chied Executive Officer, Equitable Origin

Soledad has spent more than a decade working on issues of corporate social responsibility, sustainable development, and socially responsible investment. At Equitable Origin, she is responsible for leading strategic planning, stakeholder engagement and program development to deliver on EO’s mission. Soledad also established and manages EO's governance, assurance and standard-setting procedures.

Prior to joining Equitable Origin, Soledad worked in the Responsible Sourcing Division at Underwriters Laboratories (UL), where she managed supply chain and due diligence assessments against a variety of international standards and codes of conduct on behalf of multinational corporations and financial institutions. She has been involved in over 100 assessments in more than twenty countries, including Nigeria, where Soledad worked with human rights and environmental NGOs in the Niger Delta to assess the impacts of oil production on local communities. Soledad also worked with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility on shareholder advocacy and engagement around supply chain and human rights issues.

Soledad holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs and Human Rights from Columbia University.

Francisco Merino, Head of Community Engagement and Indigenous Community Unit / Community Energy Coordinator in the Ministry of Energy of Chile

His work has focused on promoting dialogue between indigenous communities, companies and institutions, as well as on the Community Energy Partnership Mechanisms promoted by indigenous and non-indigenous communities with energy companies. Attorney at Law. LL.M in Natural Resource and Policy - CEPMLP - Dundee University, Scotland, UK. Postgraduate studies in: Business Management, University of Chile; CSR Management and Strategy, Alberto Hurtado University; and Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Social Sustainability, Groningen University, Netherlands.

More than 10 years of professional experience in the area of natural resources and community relations, both nationally and internationally, advising companies and international organizations in the United States, United Kingdom and Belgium, working for institutions such as IHS, SNL and the International Energy Charter.

Experience as a Research Intern in CONICYT's Energy Program (Chile) for the Scottish Government's Department of Energy, The Edinburgh University and the Local Energy Scotland agency.

Author and collaborator in the publication of the book "The Regulation and Policy of Latin American Energy Transitions" (Elsevier) - chapter "An inclusive and participative model for energy transition in Latin America: The case of Chilean Generacion Comunitaria

Cecilia Dastres, Head of the Methodology Unit of the Ministry of Energy of Chile

Sociologist from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Master in Management and Public Policy from the Universidad de Chile.

Head of the Contents, Methodology and Associativity Unit of the Participation Division of the Chilean Ministry of Energy. Since 2014, she has been responsible for developing the various instruments of the Ministry that establish standards for community relations between energy companies and communities, based on international standards of the United Nations. She has also been in charge of the methodological design of the dialogue and association processes between companies and communities, and the participation processes in the life cycle of public energy policies. He has vast experience in sustainability consulting for mining, energy and infrastructure companies, and in consulting for national and international organizations in the areas of citizen participation, local development and entrepreneurship.

Ana Sofía Tamborrel Signoret, Project Associate for Social Impact and Coordinator of the Communities and Renewable Energies (CER) project, Iniciativa Climática de México (ICM)

She has a Master's degree in Developmental Practice from the College of Natural Resources at the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM).

She has experience in academic research, both for ITAM and for the Center for Latin American Studies at U.C. Berkeley, has done consulting in program planning and evaluation for institutions such as Bioversity International, OXFAM USA, CATIE, or the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco, and has worked as an advisor on national and international policy from the Senate of the Republic.

She currently collaborates with the Iniciativa Climática de México (ICM) as a Project Associate for Social Impact, specifically coordinating the Communities and Renewable Energy project. In this capacity, she is responsible for the general development of the project and the coordination between the different implementing parties. In addition, she provides technical inputs to the analysis and design of public policy instruments related to the social impact of renewable energy.

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