Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 487

  Commentary CAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT BE GOOD FOR ARCTIC AND COMMUNITIES? SUSTAINABLE THE DEVELOPMENT RESOURCE IN THE ARCTIC (RESDA) PROJECT Chris Southcott As the world economy continues to expand, demand for energy and other natural resources is increasing. Reserves of some resources are becoming more difficult to replace. Natural resource industries are increasingly interested in new sources of supply in non-traditional yet politically stable regions such as the Arctic. This is not necessarily good news for Arctic communities. Past experience has showed that many Arctic communities have benefited little from resource exploitation. Indeed, a large number of northern communities have experienced enormous social, economic, and environmental challenges over the past half century and these challenges can be closely linked to impacts of past resource exploitation. Communities are disrupted to serve the interests of a type of resource development where few jobs go to local peoples and the arrival and departure of migrant workers creates great social problems. Resource dependence is seen as one of the most important challenges facing the region. Chris Southcott is Professor at Lakehead University, Canada. He is also Chair and Research Director of the ReSDA project.