| By N. Cuba, A. Bebbington, J. Rogan, M. Millones | Published by Applied Geography, 54: 250-261 |
Abstract: Taking the cases of Perú and Ghana, this paper examines overlaps between the extraction of minerals, oil and gas on the one hand, and river basins, agricultural land use, and protected areas on the other hand. In particular the paper considers how far such overlaps can be revealed and analyzed on the basis of (relatively) accessible and affordable data, without having to use more expensive data generated by remote sensing or fieldwork. We use concessions as our indicator of the presence of extractive industry activity, focusing on both mineral and hydrocarbon concessions, and areas of exploration and of active resource exploitation. High portions of agricultural land use in both countries are located within areas that are subject to mineral or hydrocarbon concessions (38% in Perú, 39% in Ghana), predominantly within areas in which exploration activities are permitted or occurring (36% in Perú, 35% in Ghana). While overlaps between concessions and areas protected for conservation were much smaller (10% for Perú, 2% for Ghana), concessions overlapped with a larger portion of titled indigenous communities in Perú (35%). These findings help visualize the geographies of uncertainty and risk that the expansion of extractive industry creates for populations dependent on agriculture, land, water and other resources in areas affected by concessions. The visualizations – and the evidence of quite different degrees of overlap, depending on the type of resource in question – suggest the relative strength of different modes of land and resource governance in the face of extractive industry. Notwithstanding their well-documented fragilities, institutions for habitat conservation seem to have been better able to resist pressures on them from the extractive sector than do those for regulating water resources, agricultural land and indigenous communities which appear far less able to moderate the expansion of resource extraction.