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Local livelihoods, conservation and mining: An uneven struggle over land access in Punta de Choros, Chile
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the relation between national economic ventures, environmental security and community development. It does so through a case study of the implementation process of an iron and copper mine (La Dominga Project) in a “biodiversity hotspot” in central-northern Chile. Using qualitative methods to gather empirical data and a discursive analytical framework, it seeks to understand how the mine affects livelihoods and community development, as perceived by local citizens. The results show that the state, the extractive industries and private landowners constantly contest the local community’s access to land. The state and the industry have an advantage in power, manifested in the decision-making procedure. As a consequence of the deficient participation in this process, the community faces a forced exposure to risk. La Dominga jeopardizes local livelihoods and alternative development plans, which show potential to be long-term ecologically sustainable. Those are 1) the community based- and adaptively co-managed area for exploitation of benthic resources and 2) the tourist activities, based on the bird and whale spotting tours to the closely located protected islands. The thesis further suggests that social mobilization and articulation of local resistance fails because of 1) elements of social control within the community, 2) the discursive role of mining, and more specifically copper mining in the Chilean landscape ideologies and 3) CSR-interventions in form of extensive, individual “grant programs”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 61 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 244
Keyword [en]
Sustainable Development, Natural Resource Management, Mining, Community Development, Local Livelihoods, Artisanal Fisheries
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-254920OAI: diva2:820233
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2015-06-05, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 11:45 (English)
Available from: 2015-06-11 Created: 2015-06-11 Last updated: 2015-06-11Bibliographically approved

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