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Mitigating Risks and Realizing Opportunities: Environmental and Social Standards for Foreign Direct Investment in High-Value Natural Resources

June 2012

Citation: ELR 10519

Author: Jill Shankleman

In the wake of conflict, there is a risk that resource extraction will have destabilizing impacts by damaging the environment, preventing local people from accessing the
resources that they depend on, or fostering tension about the distribution of jobs and other project benefits. Responsible resource extraction requires companies to minimize such risks, and thereby render their activities more likely to contribute to post-conflict stability and economic development. This chapter examines three voluntary standards that can help ensure that companies investing in extractive industry projects in such settings take seriously the risk of social and environmental damage, and position themselves to support post-conflict peacebuilding by providing economic (and sometimes social) development opportunities.

Jill Shankleman is director of J. Shankleman Limited, a business consulting firm that assists oil and gas companies to assess the social impact of their investments.

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