Examples of coupled human and environmental systems from the extractive industry and hydropower sector interfaces

Castro, Marcia C. and Krieger, Gary R. and Balge, Marci Z. and Tanner, Marcel and Utzinger, Jürg and Whittaker, Maxine and Singer, Burton H.. (2016) Examples of coupled human and environmental systems from the extractive industry and hydropower sector interfaces. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113 (51). pp. 14528-14535.

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Large-scale corporate projects, particularly those in extractive industries or hydropower development, have a history from early in the twentieth century of creating negative environmental, social, and health impacts on communities proximal to their operations. In many instances, especially for hydropower projects, the forced resettlement of entire communities was a feature in which local cultures and core human rights were severely impacted. These projects triggered an activist opposition that progressively expanded and became influential at both the host community level and with multilateral financial institutions. In parallel to, and spurred by, this activism, a shift occurred in 1969 with the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in the United States, which required Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for certain types of industrial and infrastructure projects. Over the last four decades, there has been a global movement to develop a formal legal/regulatory EIA process for large industrial and infrastructure projects. In addition, social, health, and human rights impact assessments, with associated mitigation plans, were sequentially initiated and have increasingly influenced project design and relations among companies, host governments, and locally impacted communities. Often, beneficial community-level social, economic, and health programs have voluntarily been put in place by companies. These flagship programs can serve as benchmarks for community-corporate-government partnerships in the future. Here, we present examples of such positive phenomena and also focus attention on a myriad of challenges that still lie ahead.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
UniBasel Contributors:Tanner, Marcel and Utzinger, Jürg
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:20 Apr 2017 12:37
Deposited On:20 Apr 2017 12:37

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