Conflicting interests in natural resource management : - A case study on mining in northern Sweden

by Evelina Svensson

Institution: Sdertrn University
Year: 2017
Keywords: mining; natural resource management; sustainability; resource curse; extractivism; Sweden; Environmental Sciences; Miljvetenskap
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2176351
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33443


Sweden is the leading mining country in Europe and the Swedish government intends to retain this position by fostering innovation, investments and cooperation. However, mining is an extractive industry with massive consequences on the surrounding environment and the people living there. In resource abundant northern Sweden mineral extraction is a contested subject, not least in respect to the traditional land use by the Sami population. This study intends to increase the understanding of the current mining trial process in Sweden, the effects on sustainable regional development and the implications for local communities. To do so, this study aims to identify which aspects that are brought forward during the trial for exploitation concession and how different interests are evaluated. For the purpose of this study, the bureaucratic mining trial process is examined and 15 mining cases studied in detail considering the exploitation concession phase. The material indicates that conflicts over the bureaucratic process is based both in what aspects that should be included in the assessment, how these aspects are evaluated and at what stage in the formal process various aspects should be brought up. Guided by the concepts of extractivism and subnational resource curse, the main finding identified is that the mining trial process is state-centred. This is displayed in the limited influence of local actors on the decision and in the use of national interest as a policy tool to evaluate conflicting land use claims. These characteristics can in turn increase the risk of a subnational resource curse in northern Sweden.