Sustainable Arctic Mining? A Comparative Analysis of Greenland and Nunavut Mining Discourses

Publikation: AndetUdgivelser på nettet - Net-publikationForskning

  • Marc Jacobsen
A condensed version of the book chapter 'Digging sustainability: scaling and sectoring of sovereignty in Greenland and Nunavut mining discourses'.

‘Sustainability’ is often articulated in the Greenland and Nunavut mining discourses where the exploitation of mineral resources is perceived as a key component in their respective continuous nation-building processes. The concept is, to some degree, contested by Indigenous definitions, but the Brundtland Report’s 1987 description of sustainable development is generally the main point of reference, hence reproducing the hegemonic perception. By digging deeper into key mining documents and public hearings regarding the proposed Citronen Fiord zinc mine and the Mary River iron mine, this chapter shows how the referent object is placed on different scales and sectors within the two discourses. Whereas the national economy is given precedence in Greenland in the paramount aim for independence, the local social sustainability gets more attention in the Nunavut mining discourse, which further allows more room for disagreement. This reflects the different directions of their respective postcolonial developments, where Greenland is described as a ‘country’ on the way to ‘independence’, while Nunavut is a ‘territory’ with the declared goal of ‘devolution’. Denmark and Canada are largely left out of the respective communication, but in the few instances they are mentioned it is clear how sovereignty is central to the question of who gets to decide what to sustain. While Nunavut loyally respects Canada’s sovereignty and explicitly states that the mining projects sustain Canadian sovereignty in the North, Danish interference in the Citronen Fiord project triggers postcolonial concerns in Greenland.
Publikationsdato20 nov. 2018
UdgiverThe Arctic Institute; Center for Circumpolar Security Studies
StatusUdgivet - 20 nov. 2018

ID: 209093269