Many transnational energy companies are engaged in the exploration and development of oil reserves in the Arctic, and are facing policy challenges in respect to benefit sharing with the local communities. Benefit sharing arrangements between oil and natural gas companies and indigenous communities were investigated in Nenets and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Districts, Irkutsk and Sakhalin regions in Russia and the North Slope of Alaska. We argue that Indigenous communities are not equally benefitting from oil and gas extraction, and no one benefit sharing policy model seems to ensure a sustainable local development. This may stem from the mismatch between benefit sharing policies and local institutional frameworks. Thus, as a part of benefit sharing obligations, companies and the state must work with Indigenous peoples and other affected communities to build local capacities and human capital. There is an urgent need to improve our knowledge base about benefit sharing in the Arctic energy sector, and we urge the Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group and/or the Arctic Economic Council to conduct a synthesis study aiming at finding best practices, identifying lessons learned, and initiating an inclusive, multi-stakeholder process of developing guidelines for companies on benefit-sharing in the Arctic.
- Benefit sharing
- Indigenous peoples
- Energy sector
- Oil and gas
Tysyachnyouk, M., & Petrov, A. N. (2018). Benefit sharing in the Arctic energy sector: Perspectives on corporate policies and practices in Northern Russia and Alaska. Energy Research & Social Science, 39, 29-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2017.10.014