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Open AccessArticle

Mobilizing Benefit-Sharing Through Transportation Infrastructure: Informal Roads, Extractive Industries and Benefit-Sharing in the Irkutsk Oil and Gas Region, Russia

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Department of Geography, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20036, USA
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Lab of Natural Resource Management and Political Geography, V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography SB RAS, 664033 Irkutsk, Russia
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ARCTICenter and Department of Geography, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IO 50614-0406, USA
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Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, Russian State Hydrometeorological University, 192007 Saint Petersburg, Russia
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Lab of Theoretical Geography, V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography SB RAS, Irkutsk 664033, Russia
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Lab of Cartography, Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing, V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography SB RAS, 664033 Irkutsk, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Resources 2020, 9(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9030021
Received: 25 November 2019 / Revised: 14 January 2020 / Accepted: 21 February 2020 / Published: 26 February 2020
Road infrastructure development is an existing, but not a frequent element of extractive industry benefit-sharing frameworks in remote northern regions. However, it is often at the center of extractive activity and inflicts major impact on environment and communities. This paper examines the benefits and impacts derived from development of informal roads, i.e., vehicular roadways beyond the current publicly-governed road networks constructed, maintained and/or used by various entities and individuals based on private, special purpose and/or informal practices and regulations. Based on several field studies, GIS analysis of road networks and examination of secondary sources, the article investigates the use of informal roads as a form of benefit-sharing and details their impact on mobilities, environment and livelihoods of local and indigenous communities in the Irkutsk Oil and Gas region, Russia. We argue that construction, maintenance and use of the industry-built roads can be a part of benefit-sharing agreements, albeit mostly semi-formal and negotiated. The gains and problems stemming from ‘trickle-down’ (i.e., unintended) effects of the road networks are the most significant. The community-relevant implications of informal roads go far beyond immediate impacts on surrounding environment, but deeply affect subsistence activities, mobility, food security, personal safety and even consumer preferences of the indigenous residents. View Full-Text
Keywords: informal roads; benefit-sharing; extractive industries; transportation infrastructure; indigenous people informal roads; benefit-sharing; extractive industries; transportation infrastructure; indigenous people
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Kuklina, V.; Petrov, A.N.; Krasnoshtanova, N.; Bogdanov, V. Mobilizing Benefit-Sharing Through Transportation Infrastructure: Informal Roads, Extractive Industries and Benefit-Sharing in the Irkutsk Oil and Gas Region, Russia. Resources 2020, 9, 21.

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