Cecila Dalupan – Tools to enable transparency on community development agreements


Local resistance to mining projects is often rooted in concerns over impacts and benefits. In recent decades, community development agreements (CDAs) or impact-benefit agreements relative to mining projects have increasingly been encouraged and even required across many jurisdictions. These demonstrate recognition of communities’ rights, incorporate social and environmental protections, enable sustainable economic outcomes, and support project stability. A community can benefit greatly by learning about how CDAs have worked for other projects, or why they haven’t, and why. There is a general lack of transparency around CDAs, however, giving rise to the risk and perception that the benefits therefrom are vulnerable to elite capture. More tools are needed to provide greater access to CDAs, including the associated processes and outcomes. This will allow more scrutiny of local impacts and benefits from a mining project and over time contribute to increased capacity of communities to negotiate and implement these.


Cecilia G. Dalupan is the co-founder and Senior Advisor of the Colorado-based Sustainable Development Strategies Group. A dual-licensed attorney (Philippines/Colorado) and consultant, she has over 25 years of experience in climate change, energy, and natural resources law and development. She was recently a senior executive with the WeGen-Merica Group of Companies focusing on rooftop solar energy development and sustainable forestry management in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. She has also had management, policy, project, and grant-making roles with USAID, the Foundation for Energy and Natural Resources, and other organizations.