The politics of natural resource management and sustainable place making
31 May 2013
Karin Beland Lindahl is a Researcher at the Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. She is spending four months at the Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University. While at the Institute, Karin is developing an analytical framework that will be used to explore the prospects of new mining operations in the Swedish rural North.
Her research interests include the politics of natural resource management and sustainable place making. Karin is currently in the start-up phase of two research projects: Mining in the Swedish mountains: exploring long term sustainability pathways, and Governing competing demands on forests. The latter is part of a Swedish interdisciplinary research programme Future Forests. Both projects are about linking social and ecological systems, understanding conflicts and trade-offs between competing interests, identifying governance tools that support pathways to sustainability and involving actors in the research/policy making process in meaningful ways. So far, most of her research has focused on understanding natural resource management policy and policy conflicts, using interpretive methods such as frame analysis. The projects represent a logical extension as they focus on understanding conflicting interests and exploring ways forward in a deliberative process involving the actors.
The analytical framework being developed will be used to explore the prospects of new mining operations in two communities in the Swedish rural North. The communities selected for study are historically shaped by large scale resource management (hydro power production and forestry) but face an uncertain future due to restructuring of the traditional resource sectors, an unfavourable demographic structure and their remote location. Now, large deposits of ore, nickel and other minerals have been found in the region which is also recognised for its high nature conservation values. Consequently, the mining plans are contested and a key question is if, and under what conditions, mining can constitute a pathway to sustainability?
Karin is delivering a research seminar on this work at the Institute on Wednesday 19 June.