Gender, Diversity & Resource Extraction
FemNorthNet’s initial research unearthed two key findings:
- Resource extraction projects in Canada’s North often have negative impacts on the infrastructure, environment, economies, and social and cultural fabric of northern communities.
- Many people in northern communities, particularly women, have been excluded from decision-making processes for, and core benefits resulting from, resource extraction projects.
This information led us to wonder about what is being done to mitigate negative impacts and to ensure that all community members can better benefit from the opportunities resource extraction projects offer.
We knew from small-scale case studies within our work, such as the Labrador West Community Action Panel and the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Community Vitality Index, that models and tools for improving the situation in northern communities could be developed. So, with the support of a Knowledge Synthesis grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, FemNorthNet researchers asked:
- What research, tools and policies exist and/or are planned to address the implications of resource extraction in Canada’s northern communities from a gendered, intersectional perspective?
- What are thestructural opportunities, innovations and barriers in Canada’s federal and provincial policy and regulatory mechanisms to ensure a gendered, intersectional analysis?
- What actions are required and by whom to ensure a gendered, intersectional analysis of the impacts of northern resource extraction? (For example, how can policy makers, researchers, and others address gaps and lack of access to relevant data?)
Find out what we learned by exploring our final Knowledge Synthesis Report. It provides recommendations on how governments, private sector companies, and communities can more effectively work together on these issues. The Knowledge Synthesis Report also informs two Policy Impact Papers we developed, with feedback from policymakers, to identify concrete measures to ensure more complete policy responses to the needs of diverse communities in the North.
Resource development in the North is seen as an integral to Canada's economic growth, but more needs to be done to protect the environment and to ensure neighbouring communities are able to benefit from and provide input into the energy and resource extraction projects they host. While Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) negotiated between private resource companies and affected communities may be considered a means to this end, IBAs are often insufficient and ineffective at delivering protection for and equitable benefits to communities.
Therefore, this report focuses on how existing government policies and regulations could better support northern communities affected by natural resource developments. Specifically, integration of gender-based analysis (GBA) into environmental assessments (EAs) presents a valuable opportunity to uncover and address not only anticipated environmental effects, but the socioeconomic and cultural impacts such projects will have on diverse northern residents.
Policy Impact Paper #1 discusses how gender-based analysis (GBA) can be integrated into existing environmental assessment (EA) processes in Canada to address issues of climate change, environmental degradation, and negative impacts on marginalized populations resulting from resource development and extraction projects.
Northern communities bear significant impacts from resource extraction projects. Policy Impact Paper #2 offers five key principles for identifying and addressing impacts that are frequently overlooked.
This submission to the Expert Review Panel on Federal Environmental Assessment processes by FemNorthNet proposes the incorporation of mandatory Gender Based Analysis and participatory research methods and tools to project review and monitoring. In particular, an intersectional approach looking at the impacts on gender and community, the effects of resource extraction, and resulting impacts on social infrastructure.