A Lack of Faith in Technology? Civil Society Opposition to Large-scale Mining in the Philippines

By Wil Holden.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

In recent years, the government of the Philippines has engaged in efforts to encourage investment in large-scale mining as a method of accelerating the development of that nation. These efforts to encourage mining have, however, encountered opposition from the forces of civil society. An important dimension of this opposition is a concern that mines may be impacted by natural hazards such as typhoons, earthquakes, and El Niño induced drought thus harming the environment and adversely impacting the rural poor. Although the government and the mining industry maintain that technology can minimize the risks posed by these hazards, civil society actors engaged in anti-mining activism lack confidence in such technocratic risk minimization. Ultimately, the location of mining amid such natural hazards is a manifestation of the political economy of a development program reliant upon large-scale extractive industry.

Keywords: Philippines, Mining, Natural Hazards, Ecological Modernization, Risk Society

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.273-300. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.369MB).

Dr. Wil Holden

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Faculty of Science and Social Science, The University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Dr. Holden, an inactive member of the Law Society of Alberta, joined the Geography Department as an Assistant Professor on an initial term cross-appointment with the B.Sc in Environmental Science program on 1 September 2004. Dr. Holden was promoted to Associate Professor effective 1 April 2010, and was granted tenure effective 1 July 2010. Dr. Holden’s research interest include the Philippines, the efficacy of mining as a development strategy, insurgency/counterinsurgency warfare, state terrorism, liberation theology as a counter hegemonic discourse, the “New West” of North America, the federalism of environmental law, and nuclear energy.