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Canadian CSR Councellor Launches Consultation on Dispute Resolution Mechanism

The Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counsellor launched consultations on its new dispute-resolution mechanism. Will this - and the role of the CSR Councellor more generally - make the controversial Bill C-300 obsolete? Read More

Will Oil Blowout Revive Trans-boundary EIA Negotiations?

It did not require the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to realize that oil and gas field developments are high risk operations. Similar to the Mexican Ixtoc One oil platform spill in 1979, which affected Texas coast lines, the on-going spill has the potential to result in significant trans-boundary impacts.  Will this latest spill encourage the three North American governments to re-open stalled negotiations on a Trans-boundary EIA agreement? Read More

Moving from Consultation to Consent?

FPIC Indigenous People IFC PSThe IFC Performance Standards require that projects with potentially significant impacts conduct ‘Free, Prior, Informed Consultation’ (FPIC) and demonstrate ‘Broad Community Support’ (BCS). Will these requirements move towards the concept of ‘Consent’ particularly in the context of Indigenous Peoples?

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IFC Performance Standards:Lessons Learned

The IFC Performance Standards on Social & Environmental Sustainability have emerged as the de facto benchmark for developing and financing responsible extractive projects in emerging markets. The Canadian government’s March 2009 CSR Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector, Building the Canadian Advantage, also includes the IFC Performance Standards. In this article, I review the genesis, significance and key challenges associated with the IFC Performance Standards, using also input from participants of over 20 workshops and training courses delivered in Canada, China, Panama, Peru, UK and Venezuela since 2006. Read More

Continued Industry Opposition to CSR Bill C-300 in Canada

Clear lines in the sand about CSR Bill C-300 targeting Canadian extractive companies operating abroad: mining advocacy NGOs are in favor and industry  is opposed. But what are administrative implications in terms of possible case load emerging from adoption of this Bill? Read More

Review of 3 years of IFC Performance Standards

Prompted by client questions, I revisited IFC’s Report on the First Three Years of Application of IFC’s Policy and Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability and Policy on Disclosure of Information. IFC’s client surveys shows that 21 percent said the cost of PS implementation might negatively influence future decisions to work with IFC. Read More

Equator Principles: Mining, Oil & Gas Deal Transparency

Used to more user friendly disclosure practices of multilateral financial institutions like the IFC or the EBRD, advocacy groups lament lack of deal transparency by Equator Banks. Although there is room for improvement, I wonder if the existing market transparency is already being leveraged enough. Read More