Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 488

Arctic Yearbook 2014 488 Yet there is some hope that this can change. There is some indication that the worst aspects of the resource dependence can be countered through the introduction of new policies and models of development that increase local control of development and ensure a higher share of resource rents and other benefits are passed on to northern communities. In certain areas of the Arctic new land claims agreements, impact-benefit agreements, and co-management boards offer the potential for the development of natural resources in a manner that increases the benefits of these developments for local communities and helps ensure that development is done in an environmental sound manner. New relationships between governments, communities, and industry are increasing the possibility that more benefits from resource development can be passed on to communities – including in the areas of human capital and increased capacity. Finding answers to these questions is the reason behind the formation of the Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA) project. Funded from 2011to 2018 by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada as a Major Collaborative Research Initiative, ReSDA is a partnership of Arctic communities and over 50 researchers from 29 institutions and all eight circumpolar nations. As the Arctic is increasingly the site of extractive industry interest, the ReSDA network is looking for ways to increase the benefits of extractive industry developments to communities and to mitigate negative impacts. The initial research conducted by ReSDA is contained in a series of 14 gap analyses reports (available at www.resda.ca) covering a number of areas where the potential exists for natural resource developments to increase the capacity of Arctic communities. These include the increased ability of communities to adequately measure and thereby control impacts, new impact benefit arrangements between communities and industries, new regulations that allow communities the ability ensure more sustainable environmental and social development, new fiscal mechanisms to increase revenues flowing to communities, new education and training programs that provide more long-term capacity building, new mitigation tools, and increased integration of traditional knowledge into development and monitoring programs. These gap analyses have led to a new series of research subprojects where ReSDA researchers are currently trying to answer such questions as: • • • • • • • • how can we develop better, community controlled, indicators of change linked to resource development; how can we maximize the amount of money that stays in a region; what are the various ways that funding is distributed within communities and what are the impacts of these; what are the best ways to mitigate the main social impacts of resource development on communities; what are the best options for Arctic communities in dealing with long distance commuting; how can we deal with the differing gender impacts of resource development; what are the best ways to deal with negative impacts arising from current Impact Benefit Agreements; what can be done to ensure that resource development does not negatively impact the subsistence economy of northern communities; Mining in Greenland