By Megan Cassidy
Large investments in extractive industries such as oil, gas and mining have the potential to be a springboard for development in many low- and middle-income countries, through tax revenues, technology transfer, infrastructure development, employment and capacity building. However, reaping those benefits is challenging, and these investments often have been a source of corruption, social degradation, resource dependency and environmental catastrophe.
How can resource-rich countries faced with this double-edged sword make informed decisions about how to effectively leverage these resources for economic and social development while mitigating negative impacts?
An executive training program coming in June at Columbia University will be tackling this question and many of the other complex challenges that arise in countries faced with both resource wealth and daunting sustainable development objectives.
The Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment and the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development will conduct their second annual Executive Training Program on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development from June 9-20, 2014. Targeting mid-level public sector officials, civil society and private sector representatives, the training is designed to equip leaders to take on the complex challenge of resource-driven development and to encourage a rich dialogue about best practices from around the globe.
The inaugural training, which took place in New York City in June 2013, brought in 16 public sector and civil society representatives from nine resource-rich countries, and included seminars on transparent and mutually beneficial legal and fiscal frameworks, long-term planning and revenue management, integrated rural and community development, and environmental management, among other topics.
The summer 2014 training will build on the success of the initial program, and we look forward to welcoming a diverse group of participants to continue the global conversation about the role of extractive industries in the sustainable development strategies of resource-rich countries.
If you are interested in participating in the training or know of qualified candidates for the training, visit our website at www.vcc.columbia.edu/exectraining for more information, including how to apply. The deadline for applications is March 1.
Megan Cassidy is a program manager at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, a center of The Earth Institute.