Human capital development and a Social License to Operate: Examples from Arctic energy in the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland
The Arctic region is opening up due to climate change, causing sea ice extend and snow cover to decrease. Over the past decade economic activities, including fisheries, shipping, oil & gas, mining and tourism have increased throughout the region. Especially the oil and gas activities are subject to public debate and attract a lot of (international) attention. Obtaining and maintaining the support of local stakeholders is thus of major importance if governments and companies want to see these activities continue and contribute meaningfully to the resilience of Arctic societies. The concept of a Social License to Operate addresses the acceptance of an activity by local communities and other stakeholders. This manuscript explores the role human capital development in obtaining and maintaining a Social License to Operate in Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. As trust and legitimacy are the two fundamental principles on which a Social License to Operate is based, these are being examined more closely. On the basis of three case studies, this manuscript explores how human capital development can contribute to the legitimacy of Arctic energy development and trust building between various stakeholders.
Accepted manuscript version. Published version available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2016.03.016