International experts discuss Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development in Extractive Industries
The growth of the resource extraction industry poses new opportunities and challenges for development. The unprecedented rise in commodity prices combined with the exhaustion of the most easily accessible sources, means that resource extraction will be a source of conflict in many developing countries over the distribution of the proceeds, the creation of economic opportunities for local populations, and the avoidance of environmental damage.
At the same time, the recent decision by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to spend millions of its foreign aid dollars funding collaborative projects between Canadian NGOs and mining companies has generated an often heated debate. “This growing polemic is misplaced. It is not a question of what is "right" or "wrong," or if Canadian aid money could be better spent in other ways. The real question is who will benefit: extractive industries, the communities in which minerals are found, or both?” said Philip Oxhorn, Professor of Political Science and Founding Director, Institute for the Study of International Development.
To begin to address these challenges, international experts will meet at the upcoming conference Public-Private Sector Partnerships for Sustainable Development (March 29-30), hosted by McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID). The two-day event will bring together industry experts, policy makers, and local and transnational civil society actors to share a myriad of experiences intended to generate a rich but critical discussion of more effective strategies for using for-profit economic activity to generate sustainable economic development.
Keynote speakers include: Stephen Kakfwi, Former Premier of the Northwest Territories; Lau Masha, Former Minister of Home Affairs, Tanzania; Ian Smillie, author and Chair, Diamond Development Initiative and Ally Samaje, Commissioner for Minerals, Government of Tanzania.
Additional topics and speakers include: The State of the Art I: Successful Private Sector Strategies for Community Engagement (Susan Stocker, Teck Resources Limited); Successful Community Strategies for Engaging with Resource Extraction Companies (John Mason, Chief Executive Officer, Nature Conservation Research Centre, Ghana); Laws Intuitions and Challenges of Good Governance (Kernaghan Webb, Board Member, Transparency International-Canada); and When Capitalism Meets Tradition: Resource Extraction and Indigenous Communities (Willie Littlechild, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada)
Program information: http://www.mcgill.ca/isid/resource-extraction-conference/conference-program
Participant's biographies: http://www.mcgill.ca/isid/resource-extraction-conference/participants-biographies