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Extractive Dispossession: “I am not happy our land will go, we will have no better life"

Roche, C., Sindana, H. and Walim, N. (2019) Extractive Dispossession: “I am not happy our land will go, we will have no better life". The Extractive Industries and Society, 6 (3). pp. 977-992.

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Inspired by questions from local communities about the potential impacts of large-scale extractive activities, we used others’ experience to identify and illustrate intentional and immanent impacts from extractive led development (ELD). Recognising the capitalist driver of global extraction and needing to capture the harsh, but often obscured reality of local experience, we turned to theories, applications and experience of dispossession. Based on Holden, Nadeau and Jacobson’s (2011) application of Harvey’s (2003) theory of accumulation by dispossession (AbD) in the Philippines, we identified eleven separate but interrelated and overlapping factors of extractive dispossession which provide the specific detail required to identify and understand extractive impacts. These were then discussed and tested with communities potentially impacted by the proposed Wafi-Golpu mine in the Morobe province of Papua New Guinea. Participant responses indicated the value and utility of this recipient-view perspective of extractive impact in an interactive and iterative approach that informed communities about potential impacts and documented their concerns with process and outcome at Wafi-Golpu - which is already a site of multiple dispossessions. The research outcome is a practical heuristic with specific factors that enhances our understanding of potential impacts from ELD and can assist in applying concepts of dispossession and accumulation to development impacts.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd.
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