An Untapped Resource? The Extractives Industry and Community Self-management of Assets

In this period of intense global flux, the international community is grappling with two formidable and simultaneous phenomena: the exponential growth of resource extraction and the rise of local communities demanding their right to self‑determination. From Mongolia to Madagascar to Brazil, resource extraction is occurring on a larger scale than ever before, and many of these projects are being executed in increasingly remote regions that are home to Indigenous and rural communities. While these industries have played a major role in increasing standards of living and global prosperity generally, it is also widely recognized that benefits and negative impacts have not been evenly shared. Significant conflict has accompanied the unprecedented economic growth of the last several decades.

Is it possible for extractive corporations to support community self‑determination and communities’ capacity to govern their assets over the long term? Is long‑term corporate investment in / corporate funding for community foundations a viable mechanism to achieve this goal, both for communities and companies? To explore these questions, the GFCF and First Peoples Worldwide embarked on a joint research project, which combined a literature review, consultation with industry and civil society leaders, and interviews with corporate representatives for social investment from major oil and mining companies.

Authors: Mary Fifield, Jenny Hodgson, Nick Pelosi

Published by: GFCF

Published: February 2017

Download ‘An Untapped Resource? The Extractives Industry and Community Self-management of Assets’. See also the accompanying Case Study on the Cherokee Preservation Foundation or the Case Study on the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust.

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