STANDD (Centre for Society, Technology and Development) Seminar


Peterson Hall Room 116, 3460 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 0E6, CA

“Intersecting interests or corporate paradox? Mining, conservation and sustainable development at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress”

Friday, March 27th || 12.30-16.00 || Peterson Hall, Rm. 116 || 3647 McTavish Street, McGill University

The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) World Parks Congress (WPC) is a monumental gathering of thousands of conservation practitioners, NGOs, academics, government representatives, and activists from around the world. Occurring once every ten years, the WPC plays a crucial role in shaping future policies, discourses and practices of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

Over the past 10-15 years, multinational and large-scale mining companies (e.g. Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, DeBeers, Newmont, Shell, Total) have increasingly been viewed as key stakeholders in conservation, and at the latest WPC, held in Sydney in November 2014, business and mining interests were particularly visible. While some mining companies have formed public-private partnerships with conservation NGOs, others are active in the design and implementation of 'nature-based solutions' to global environmental problems through a market-based approach, often referred to as the 'green economy'.

This seminar brings together a group of scholars to critically discuss the role of business and mining companies in shaping global environmental governance and sustainable development, with a particular view of better understanding implications of this shift for local and indigenous communities. In addition to reflecting on themes emerging from the IUCN World Parks Congress and beyond, presenters will comment on recent trends in Africa, Madagascar/the Indian Ocean World, Latin America, and Canada. The panel will cover topics ranging from 'no go' zones, the green economy, World Heritage Sites, the concept of 'mining-led development', carbon and biodiversity offsets, green neoliberalism, and the role of the state. The seminar consists of panel presentations and a round-table discussion with the audience. Refreshments will be served.


Ken MacDonald, Associate Professor of Geography, University of Toronto
“The World Parks Congress as a Node in the Production of 'The Green Economy'”

Colin Scott, Associate Professor of Anthropology, McGill University
“Encountering Goldcorp in Northern Quebec and Guatemala: Indigenous Worlds Apart?”

Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert, Associate Professor of History, McGill University
“Mining and Sustainability - A Short Intellectual History from the Rio Earth Summit to Today”

Caroline Seagle, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, McGill University
“Offsetting the Global Body? The Biopolitics of Care and Extraction from Sydney to Madagascar”
With participation of Bonnie Campbell, Professor of Political Science and Law at l'Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) on REINVENTERRA project (Réseau d’études internationales sur la valorisation et l’exploitation de la nature, des terres et des ressources en Afrique, Asie et Amérique latine)

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