Community Development Agreements in the Mining Industry: An Emerging Global Phenomenon
Agreements between commercial developers and local communities are becoming more common in virtually all parts of the world, from inner city America to remote mining regions. The need for such "community development agreements" (CDAs) is especially acute in mining, where environmental and social costs are often borne by communities while project benefits accrue in national capitals and global financial centres, leading to conflict between local people and miners. This article identifies the forces behind the recent spread of CDAs in the mining industry, and provides a sense of some general trends in the nature and impact of CDAs. The article also raises some key issues regarding CDAs in mining, issues that are often equally relevant in other contexts. These include the implications of unequal bargaining relationships between communities and developers; equity in the distribution of benefits generated by CDAs; and the enforceability and implementation of agreements.
Comparative Government and Politics