Edited by Kate Miles
Chapter 20: Local communities, environment and development: the case of oil and gas investment in Africa
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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