Extractive Industry

Extractive industries include timber, oil and gas, coal as well as mining for valuable metals or minerals such as diamonds.

The extraction of natural resources for national and global markets is a pressing environmental and social concern. This topic has been extensively covered for a long time, and the potential and real consequences have been made abundantly clear.

In many cases, these processes are dominated by private or state owned enterprises, who have access to sufficient capital for large-scale projects. Once again, the principal justification for such activities lies in the economic output. Resource rents, whether collected through corporate tax or direct extraction and sale by state owned companies, could provide vital funds for national budgets. Indeed, a number of states have based their economies around the resource wealth that they possess.

More needs to be done to challenge the national development discourse. First and foremost the concentration of wealth that often emerges needs to be highlighted, questioning the logic of national and local level benefits.

In addition, the social and environmental impacts on local livelihoods need to be factored into debates in a far more meaningful way. These impacts can no longer be dismissed as necessary by-products of economic development.