Chapter 20: The sharing of natural resource revenues between levels of government
Sharing of natural resource revenue (NRR) among levels of government has become a salient issue in intergovernmental relations and in minerals and oil and gas national policies. Developments in technology and growing international prices have expanded the number of countries in which natural resources are, or could be, produced. The recent years have also witnessed a large increase in the price of these commodities, which has led, in turn, to a corresponding increase of the amount of NRR received by the public sector. In many countries also governments have exploited the growth of price to appropriate a larger share of the rent – also referred to as the government take. There is increasing pressure from local governments to have their claims recognized to a (larger) share of NRR. In addition, there is a growing concern – not only at the local level – about the environmental impact of NRR exploration and, particularly, production activities. This concern is not circumscribed only to developing countries, but is also present in the industrialized world, particularly in Europe and other densely populated regions. Minerals, oil, forests, hydropower energy and fisheries are the main natural resources subject to competition by distinct levels of government and dealt with in the literature. Other assets, such as cultural heritage, natural attractions or huge infrastructure located in strategic areas, such as the Panama Canal, can and are being treated akin to natural resources.
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