Footprints in the Jungle: Natural Resource Industries, Infrastructure, and Biodiversity Conservation

By Ian A. Bowles; Glenn T. Prickett et al. | Go to book overview

14
Conservation and Concession Contracts
Environmental Issues in Mineral
Extraction Agreements
David N. Smith
Cyril F. Kormos

Foreign investment in mining and petroleum projects in developing countries has typically been carried out pursuant to special agreements negotiated between transnational resource extraction companies and host country governments. Authority for government officials to enter into such contractual arrangements has usually been set forth in general foreign investment legislation, or mining or petroleum legislation. While in earlier decades considerable discretion was given to government officials to negotiate ad hoc agreements, increasingly at least some of the terms of these agreements have been mandated in legislation or in “model” or standard contracts (Smith and Wells 1975). 1

Contracts and legislation have, until very recently, said little about environmental and social issues. Environmental provisions in mining and petroleum legislation have often been limited in scope or have made reference to general environmental legislation, which typically did not address in detail environmental issues related specifically to mining and petroleum development. Even in the 1970s, when governments began to exert greater “sovereignty” over natural resource development, little attention was paid to environmental and social issues. As a result of an increased flow of petrodollars into banks and increased lending by banks to developing countries and state-owned resource companies, and as a result of increased government bargaining power, contractual arrangements were strengthened to provide greater control by governments. Exploration periods were reduced, relinquishment requirements were accelerated, “ring-fence” clauses were introduced, and taxes, royalties, and governments' share of equity were in

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