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Stakeholder Engagement for Sustainable Development: The Case of Sakhalin Island


Wilson, Emma, Environment & Community Worldwide, Ltd., Associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University


This presentation provides an overview of stakeholder engagement related to the Sakhalin offshore oil and gas projects. Stakeholders include the local (regional and district) governments, local special interest groups (e.g., indigenous, environmental, political), shareholders and lenders, contractors and employees, local businesses and scientific insti­tutions, international NGOs and the wider ‘international community’. This presentation pro­vides an assessment of the ways that companies based on Sakhalin have engaged with stakeholders at all levels, and examines some of the outcomes of this engagement. It also looks at the way in which certain stakeholder messages about Sakhalin have been promot­ed internationally, and demonstrates how information can be inflated or misrepresented, with the result that important stakeholder concerns may be overlooked. This underlines the need for companies to identify the whole range of potential issues before they embark on a project, and to prepare an effective stakeholder communication plan. Companies may find that there are as many visions of sustainable development as there are stakeholders in a project, and it is clear that for multinational projects, successful sustainable development solutions can only be arrived at through long-term dialogue between Western and local stakeholders.