Roundtable discussions on "Energy, Sustainable Development, and Law in the Arctic" were held at MGIMO University on March 19, 2019, within the framework of the MGIMO University & the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy Third Joint Annual Conference.
Sergey Vasiliev, Director, MGIMO University Branch in Odintsovo, made a presentation on the role of resource companies in the Arctic. Specifically he argued that the development of Arctic energy resources can be and should be done sustainably on the principals of co-management of renewable resources by indigenous communities and of non-renewable resources by resource companies. There are quite a large number of legal and public, national, bilateral and international mechanisms to achieve this. Among the mechanisms guarding the interests of the indigenous peoples S.Vasiliev mentioned land claims agreements and co-management regimes, requirements to incorporate indigenous interests in the process of Environmental and Ethnical Impact Assessments. Resources companies must sign Impact Benefits Agreements with indigenous stakeholders and hold public hearings. Licensing regimes in the Arctic states require that resource companies make significant social and economic commitments in favor of local and indigenous communities. Special role is played by the World Bank Directive pertaining to the protection of the interests of the Indigenous peoples on whose territories resource companies implement their projects. The center of the Directive is to ensure that indigenous peoples do not suffer adverse effects during the development process, particularly from Bank-financed projects, and that they receive culturally compatible social and economic benefits.