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Dialogue for Development

An Exploration of Relations between Oil and Gas Companies, Communities, and the State

Florian Stammler and Emma Wilson

This introduction provides an overview of academic research and current practice relating to stakeholder dialogue around oil and gas development in the Russian North, Siberia and the Russian Far East. We discuss the two main strands of analysis in this special issue: (a) regulation and impact assessment; and (b) relationship-building in practice, with a particular focus on indigenous communities. We argue that an effective regulatory framework, meaningful dialogue, and imaginative organization of stakeholder relations are required to minimize negative impacts and maximize benefits from oil and gas projects. Self-interest, mistrust, and a lack of collective agency frequently lead to ineffective planning and heightened tensions in relations. We identify lessons to be learned from partnerships and initiatives already established in Sakhalin and Western Siberia, despite the lack of a stable legal framework to govern relations. This issue focuses on the academic-practitioner interface, emphasizing the importance of practical application of academic research and the value of non-academic contributions to academic debates.

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ESRC seminar series

Trans-sectoral partnerships, sustainability research and the oil and gas industry in Russia

Emma Wilson

Notes on Seminar 1: ‘Sustainable Community Development, Social Impact Assessment and Anthropological Expert Review’ (26 November 2004, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge) and Seminar 2: ‘A Sustainable Future for Sakhalin Island?’ (9 March 2005, Leicester University)

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Olga A. Murashko

Indigenous peoples of the Russian North, Siberia, and the Russian Far East are increasingly demanding that proponents of industrial projects carry out an etnologicheskaia ekspertiza (anthropological expert review or ethno-cultural impact assessment) of their project, in order to assess the socio-economic and cultural impacts on local and indigenous communities living close to project sites. However, there is a lack of an appropriate legislative framework in Russia, no established methodology, and a lack of understanding among stakeholders about what an etnologicheskaia ekspertiza is. The established Russian environmental impact assessment process (requiring a state ecological expert review of projects) does not include assessment of socio-economic and cultural impacts on communities. In this article the author discusses the concept of etnologicheskaia ekspertiza and the context that gave rise to it, shares her practical experience, and makes recommendations for establishing a legal framework for etnologicheskaia ekspertiza, with reference to comparable Western concepts, such as social and cultural impact assessment.

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Globalization of Sakhalin's Oil Industry

Partnership or Conflict? A Reflection on the Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza

Tatiana Roon

For the indigenous peoples of northern Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East, Sovietization and industrial development—including onshore oil and gas development from the 1920s have resulted in the loss of language, ethnic homogeneity, and the lands where they practice traditional livelihood activities. Multinational offshore oil and gas projects commenced in the late 1990s. Sakhalin's indigenous people initially sought partnerships with the multinationals, but turned to protest in 2005, demanding among other things that companies complete an etnologicheskaia ekspertiza (anthropological expert review or ethno-cultural impact assessment). This is a relatively new Russian term and no methodological guidelines currently exist in Russian law. One of the offshore projects, the Sakhalin-2 Project, completed an international-style social impact assessment in 2003. The author compares this assessment and the World Bank social safeguard standards adopted by the Sakhalin-2 Project with the etnologicheskaia ekspertiza, arguing for the integration of Western and Russian approaches, in order to establish a sound scientific and legal basis for the assessment of socio-economic and cultural impacts of industrial projects on local communities.

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Sabine Weiland, Vivien Weiss, and John Turnpenny

Ecological challenges are becoming more and more complex, as are their effects on nature and society and the actions to address them. Calls for a more sustainable development to address these challenges and to mitigate possible negative future impacts are not unproblematic, particularly due to the complexity, uncertainty, and long-term nature of possible consequences (Newig et al. 2008). Knowledge about the various impacts—be they ecological, economic, or social—policies might have is therefore pivotal. But the relationship between such knowledge and the myriad ways it may be used is particularly challenging. The example of policy impact assessment systems is a case in point. Recent years have seen an institutionalization of such systems for evaluating consequences of regulatory activities across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD 2008) and the European Union (CEC 2002). It is argued that, by utilizing scientific and other evidence, impact assessment has the potential to deliver more sustainable policies and to address large-scale global challenges.

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Jobst Conrad

The article provides a general overview of social sciences perspectives to analyze and theorize climate research, climate discourse, and climate policy. First, referring to the basic paradigm of sociology, it points out the feasible scope and necessary methodology of environmental sociology as a social science concerning the analysis of physical nature. Second, it illustrates this epistemological conception by few examples, summarizing main results of corresponding climate-related social science investigations dealing with the development dynamics of climate research, the role of scientific (climate impact) assessments in politics, varying features and changes of climate discourses, climate policy formation, and knowledge diffusion from climate science. The receptivity of climate discourse and climate policy to the results of problem-oriented climate research is strongly shaped and limited by its multifarious character as well as by their own (internal) logics. The article shows that social sciences contribute their specific (conceptual) competences to problem-oriented research by addressing climate change and corresponding adaptation and mitigation strategies.

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Victoria C. Ramenzoni and David Yoskowitz

. These policies instituted specific requirements in the assessment of societal and environmental impacts as a result of management actions. By the 1980s and 1990s, the NOAA, the DOI, and the EPA began to develop and incorporate Societal Impact Assessment

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Carceral Repair

Methane Extraction in Lake Kivu, Rwanda

Kristin Doughty

was crucial to justifying and mobilizing public-private partnerships, international scientific expertise, international funding and expropriation of land. It made the project a fait accompli . As KivuWatt's Economic and Social Impact Assessment in

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“Can You Really See What We Write Online?”

Ethics and Privacy in Digital Research with Girls

Ronda Zelezny-Green

because they would not be involved in extensive exit exam preparation each day after school. Cell phone ownership would help focus the impact assessment on the solution introduced and the novelty of owning a phone for the first time would not cloud the

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Amit Ron

scientific processes that bear the cost of cognitive labor on behalf of the affected interests. Social, economic, and environmental impact assessments are designed to identify the full range of effects of certain proposed projects or plans. In many cases it