Natural resource extraction has returned with a vengeance: as a model of development, as illicit activity, and as survival strategy. Combined investment in extractive industry, large scale infrastructure and the expansion of the agricultural frontier are often put forward as essential for the generation of government revenue, energy provision, and employment. Yet, this emphasis on resource extraction raises serious challenges for climate change, biodiversity and community rights, not least through its impacts on land cover change and water resources.
Can these challenges be addressed in ways that combine – at least to some extent – extractivism with the right to live well? This keynote lecture will aim to shed light on potentially fruitful responses at the interface of social mobilization and policy innovation within large-scale bureaucracies, without underestimating the constraints to change.
Anthony Bebbington is the Milton P. and Alice C. Higgins Professor of Environment and Society at the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University (MA, USA). He is also a Professorial Research Fellow at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester and Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Anthony Bebbington’s work addresses the political ecology of rural change with a particular focus on extractive industries, socio-environmental conflicts, social movements, territorial dynamics and livelihoods. He has worked throughout South and Central America, though primarily in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, and more recently in El Salvador.