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Title: The Ecology and Economy of Indigenous Resistance: Divergent Perspectives on Mining in New Caledonia
Authors: Ali, Saleem H.
Grewal, Andrew Singh
Keywords: New Caledonia
nickel mining
LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals.
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Ali, S. H., and A. S. Grewal. 2006. The Ecology and Economy of Indigenous Resistance: Divergent Perspectives on Mining in New Caledonia. Special issue, The Contemporary Pacific 18 (2): 361-92.
Abstract: Mineral development in remote parts of the world has become a major focus of environmental and social resistance movements. Despite the economic benefits that may accrue for local people, the impact of such projects is increasingly being questioned, particularly by indigenous communities. However, there are ways by which amicable and effective resolutions to development disagreements can be achieved despite cultural differences between the developer and the community. Using qualitative research methods, this article presents a comparative analysis of two mining projects on the Pacific island of New Caledonia where the indigenous Kanak community has shown differentiation in their response to the two projects. Our analysis shows that the project encountering less resistance has more effectively embraced principles of transparency, flexibility, and indigenous ownership. Our analysis suggests that mineral developers operating on indigenous lands should consider the power of process in reaching agreements rather than erroneously assuming that litigation or buyouts are inevitable. Such an approach is likely to reach more sustainable solutions to development in remote indigenous communities.
ISSN: 1043-898X
Appears in Collections:TCP [The Contemporary Pacific ], 2006 - Volume 18, Number 2

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