Comments on the OECD's 'Due Diligence Guidance for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in the Extractives Sector'
14 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2015 Last revised: 14 Jul 2015
Date Written: June 14, 2015
Professor Lisa Laplante of New England Law | Boston’s Center for International Law and Policy (CILP) and Professor Erika George of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law’s Center for Global Justice respectfully submitted this collaborative commentary in response to the OECD’s Draft Due Diligence Guidance for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in the Extractives Sector which build off of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises which offer comprehensive recommendations to promote responsible business conduct. The 2011 revisions to the OECD MNE Guidelines introduced an important new provision on stakeholder engagement. Pursuant to the provision, multinational enterprises should: “engage with relevant stakeholders in order to provide meaningful opportunities for their views to be taken into account in relation to planning and decision making for projects or other activities that may significantly impact local communities.” Beyond meaningful stakeholder engagement, the OECD MNE Guidelines provide that multinational enterprises should: “carry out risk-based due diligence…to identify, prevent and mitigate actual and potential adverse impacts…and account for how these impacts are addressed.”
Because the nature of business in the extractive sector often requires a long term presence in a particular location and large capital and infrastructure investments meaningful stakeholder engagement is especially important for enterprises engaged in the business of resource extraction. Moreover, the extensive social, economic and environmental impacts often associated with particular business practices warrants serious consideration of the interests of multiple stakeholders. Understanding extractive sector enterprises to include enterprises conducting exploration, development, extraction, processing, transport, and/or storage of oil, gas and minerals, it is a critically important sector for the global economy. For that reason the OECD developed these recent Guidelines.
Keywords: Human Rights, Corporate Social Responsibility
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