Impact and Benefit Agreements: Are they working?

CIM Vancouver 2010
Jason Prno, Ben Bradshaw,
Abstract The emergence of Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs) in the Canadian mining sector has been read by many as a positive governance innovation. Negotiated directly between mineral resource developers and Aboriginal communities with limited government interference, IBAs serve to manage impacts associated with a mining project and deliver tangible benefits to local communities. Notwithstanding their increasing use and significance, limited systematic analysis has been undertaken to determine whether they are, in fact, working. This paper reports on the effectiveness of a number of IBAs negotiated in support of three northern Canadian diamond mines, drawing on evidence from time-series data, key informant interviews, and focus group meetings in Yellowknife and Dettah, NWT, and Kugluktuk, NU. While some deficiencies were apparent and perceptions of effectiveness varied somewhat by Aboriginal community, the IBAs were generally found to be meeting their objectives, especially with respect to the delivery of benefits. For Aboriginal communities affected by mineral development in the Canadian North, this represents a significant change to typical outcomes of the past. Moving forward, research on IBA effectiveness needs to adopt a longer timeframe and begin to gauge the degree to which IBAs are able to address long-standing concerns associated with hinterland resource extraction beyond their agreement-specific objectives.
Keywords: Effectiveness, Northern Canada, Diamond mining, Impact and Benefit Agreement, IBA, Aboriginal communities
Full Access to Technical Paper
PDF version for $20.00
Other papers from CIM Vancouver 2010