Ecological distribution conflicts (EDCs) over mineral extraction in India: An overview

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Abstract

Mineral extraction is growing worldwide, generating serious social and environmental impacts, and in the process, sparking significant resistance. The present article provides the first overview of non-fuel mining conflicts in India. The analysis is based on 100 cases of conflicts that occurred between 1992 and 2014, which constitutes the most exhaustive database compiled to date. In each case, location, mineral extracted, actors involved, cited causes of protest, conflict duration and outcomes were recorded. We found that the commodity responsible for the most conflicts is sand, the extraction of which is widespread and often carried out illegally by small-scale actors near rivers. Resistance against metallic ore mining, in contrast, typically pits local populations against larger corporations. Most resistance movements are composed of subaltern rural and/or indigenous populations; very few national and international NGOs were found to be involved in local movements. The causes of such conflicts have largely been ecological and responsible for an undermining of local livelihoods. Mineral extraction is expected to increase in India over the next decade, and with it, the number of associated conflicts.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)548-563
Number of pages16
JournalThe Extractive Industries and Society: an International Journal (print)
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2017

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