Flaviano Bianchini

Ashoka Fellow
Nicaragua
Fellow Since 2012

Citation

This profile was prepared when Flaviano Bianchini was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Flaviano holds extractive industries accountable for their activities by furnishing communities and environmental and human rights COs with the tools to evaluate the negative effects of mining, oil, and dam construction projects. Armed with this evidence, the COs, with Flaviano’s guidance and partners, engage in lawsuits or negotiations with large resource extraction firms that damage the environment and health of the surrounding community members.

The COs that collaborate with Flaviano become active leaders in mobilizing their communities with clear scientific proof against the degradation wrought by oil and mining companies. Flaviano first obtains scientific evidence to demonstrate the degree of contamination and document the adverse health effects that these industries generate. He performs environmental contamination studies and lab analyses of the affected population, normally costly technical procedures inaccessible to such communities. Then, the communities join forces with Flaviano to carry out their own monitoring and acquire the necessary evidence of damages to community health. Flaviano’s model helps train community members to take basic measurements that are later used in scientific studies. With this technical knowledge they helped produce, the citizens are better prepared to deal with emergencies or disasters and take on the corporations themselves.

Providing this type of evidence has empowered COs to garner significant changes in public policy to regulate the processes of the extractive industries. They have also prompted recommendations from international organizations to reposition mines and relocate adversely affected communities. To date, Flaviano has implemented his methodology in Guatemala, Peru, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Argentina. He hopes to reproduce it in communities around the world that are exposed to harm caused by a mining, oil extraction or dam construction project, particularly in Asia and Africa.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

Updates

He has the aim of creating a network of communities affected by the extractive industries, which are capable of developing and facilitating their own environmental and health monitoring. In some cases, these businesses are involved in the model, in other cases, the communities act independently. The general aim is to create many models for community control of the environmental and social situation in relation to the extractive industries, as well as promoting the systemic change of business-community relations at a regional level.

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