As companies and governments attempt to intensify extraction, cultural resistance offers a space for imagining alternative futures.
And if you wait too long to survey a community, it can end up being too be too late to turn the tide of opinion.
'Social licence to operate' is a term describing how much community support a project or company has. As the Northern Rivers CSG experience shows, failing to get it can have costly impacts for firms.
Guyana, a former British colony on the north shore of South America, may soon supplant Trinidad and Tobago as the Caribbean region’s biggest oil producer.
Reuters/Andrea De Silva
Guyana is on the verge of an oil bonanza that could bring in US$1 million a day. But if it's not careful, this poor nation – population 750,000 – could fall prey to the dreaded 'resource curse.'
Mining brings some benefits to some but when extraction is over, the lack of wider benefits to all is keenly felt.
Burkina Faso is among the African countries that have experienced popular protests in recent years.
Grassroots protesters are questioning the logic of export-led ‘growth’ and renewed fiscal austerity pushed through the ‘Africa rising’ narrative. They want policies that meet their basic needs.
There is very little evidence that commodity producing countries diversify their economies by adding value to their raw materials.
The downturn in the commodity boom will not automatically lead to diversification of Africa's economies. This can only be achieved through a focus on creating learning economies driven by innovation.
An oil worker stands on the deck of a tanker at Bonga off-shore oil field outside Lagos. Africa’s extractive industries are committed to local content but universities aren’t producing the right kind of graduates.
Huge investments have been made to develop Africa's extractive industry. The challenge now is to forge collaboration between the industry and institutions of higher education to build a skills base.
The goals of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative are laudable; but an excessive focus on transparency and accountability doesn’t always benefit developing host countries.
A developed country, rich in natural resources, with relatively open and accountable governance lends its support to a global transparency initiative – what does this mean for the world’s poor? It depends…