Research Handbook on Environment and Investment Law
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Research Handbook on Environment and Investment Law

Edited by Kate Miles

The Research Handbook on Environment and Investment Law examines one of the most dynamic areas of international law: the interaction between international investment law and environmental law and policy. The Research Handbook takes a thematic approach, analysing key issues in the environment–investment nexus, such as freshwater resources, climate, biodiversity, biotechnology and sustainable development. It also includes sections which explore regional experiences and address practice and procedure, and offers innovative approaches and critical perspectives, including the interface between foreign investment and the environment with human rights, gender, indigenous peoples, and economics.
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Chapter 20: Local communities, environment and development: the case of oil and gas investment in Africa

Ibironke T. Odumosu-Ayanu

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the interactions between promises of economic development through oil and gas production and environmental degradation, and the views that host and impacted communities (local communities) espouse regarding these interactions. It demonstrates that though local communities do not share the privileged status of states and investors in oil and gas investment, instead being placed on the margins of core decisionmaking, they seize opportunities to express views that foster stronger appreciation of the interconnection between the economy and the environment. Using the Chad–Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project as an example, the chapter analyses views that communities expressed in complaints submitted to the World Bank Inspection Panel and the International Finance Corporations’ Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman. These views demonstrate the critical insights that communities express, which have the potential to inform more holistic perspectives on what constitutes development for local communities. Situating perspectives on development and characterizations of the development and environment debate within a critical framework that actively engages and incorporates local communities’ views ensures that law, politics and the economy actively account for the views of all core actors in oil and gas investments.

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