The field of Community and Stakeholder Engagement arose as a means to alleviate community distress resulting from significant external pressures. Industries, governments and organizations now recognize the role engagement can play in preventing or minimizing distress if development is done correctly.
Alaska Earth Sciences advocated for and facilitated stakeholder engagement in Alaska before it became standard operating procedure and is committed to continuing this work on behalf of our clients and the communities in which they operate.
Engaging with and responding to the individuals and organizations affected by a development project can help companies perform better. It increases a company’s knowledge and contributes to its social license to operate.
Community engagement engenders:
- More equitable and sustainable social development by giving those who have a right to be heard the opportunity to be considered in the decision-making process;
- better management of risk and reputation;
- pooling of resources;
- understanding of the complex operating environment, including market developments and cultural dynamics; and
- development of trust-based and transparent stakeholder relationships.
Community Engagement Professionals work to develop and manage effective, business-driven projects. In addition, Community Engagement Professionals work to facilitate a better understanding by operating companies of the culture and political environment where they are working. Community Engagement Professionals must be able to effectively communicate and negotiate
- expectations of the companies they work for;
- expectations of community and regional stakeholders;
- local, state, and federal regulations;
- legacy issues;
- evolving international standards, and how to apply those standards at the local level; and
- many other challenges
“Alaska is at a critical juncture. Several major mines are now in production and the State is realizing more mining jobs and revenues than ever before. We can – and must – demonstrate that exploration and mining of coal and minerals is good for rural villages, the state’s economy, and compatible with a clean and healthy environment.”Rob Retherford, President