Mobilizing benefit-sharing through transportation infrastructure: Informal roads, extractive industries and benefit-sharing in the Irkutsk oil and gas region, Russia
Benefit-sharing, Extractive industries, Indigenous people, Informal roads, Transportation infrastructure
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.
Department of Geography
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Kuklina, Vera; Petrov, Andrey N.; Krasnoshtanova, Natalia; and Bogdanov, Viktor, "Mobilizing benefit-sharing through transportation infrastructure: Informal roads, extractive industries and benefit-sharing in the Irkutsk oil and gas region, Russia" (2020). Faculty Publications. 341.