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Women's Everyday Resilience in Opposing Large Scale Mining

20th January 2016

Mining in Latin America is big business and provides a substantial percentage of GDP, but is the economy a true measurement of 'Development'?

In a recent blog piece for the Oxfam Policy and Practice website, Dr. Katy Jenkins, Co-Director of the Centre for International Development, explores how women activistsare involved in contesting this model of Development.

Large scale mineral extraction, by foreign transnational corporations and also by state owned entities, provides a large percentage of GDP for many countries in Latin America, and is increasingly favoured by governments across the region as a strategy for economic growth. However, for many communities situated close to proposed and actual mining projects, the extractivist model of development is fraught with tensions and contradictions, in relation to the potential economic benefits of mining and the promise of 'Development', versus the myriad social and environmental harms associated with large scale extraction.

Mining therefore provides an interesting lens for thinking about what we mean by 'Development' - is Development only about economic growth? How might this economic growth be translated into tangible benefits for impoverished, and often isolated, rural and indigenous communities? Who should Development benefit? Can an extractivist model of deliver Development whilst also protecting people's fundamental human rights? Who gets to decide on the direction Development should take, and to what extent should communities be able to veto proposed mineral extraction in their local area? Can a certain level of financial remuneration make up for irreversible environmental damage?...to read the full blog please visit the Oxfam Policy & Practice website.

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