A Sea of Voices: Deep sea mining and the Solwara 1 Project in Papua New Guinea
Phillips, H. (2019). A Sea of Voices: Deep sea mining and the Solwara 1 Project in Papua New Guinea (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12784
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12784
Deep sea mining is a new and increasingly important part of the capitalist exploitation of the world’s oceans. Situated off the coast of New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea, Solwara 1 is expected to become the world’s first deep sea mining project. Developments in late 2018, however, suggest that the project might not go ahead. If Solwara 1 does proceed, it shall occur in a country with a long history of mining developments that have produced widespread social and environmental harm. The aim of this thesis is to critically analyse the discursive articulations of four key stakeholder groups: the mining company, the government, local communities and the fourth estate, the latter taken to include NGOs, the scientific community, as well as media. In order to discover how each of these groups portrays and reacts to the Solwara 1 project, this thesis will examine bureaucratic artefacts, such as reports, media releases and social media. It is evident that each party has constructed its own unique discourse regarding the project and its interrelationship with the surrounding communities and marine environment. The mining company claim that local people do not have a tangible or intangible relationship to the sea, which is also echoed by the national government, who are shareholders in Solwara 1. Local communities dispute this however, and argue they are deeply connected to the sea. The fourth estate are primarily concerned with the environmental impacts that deep sea mining may cause. Ultimately, this ‘sea of voices’ presents a situation whereby each stakeholder ultimately constructs a discourse that best serves and advances their own interests, and does so on a highly uneven playing field.
The University of Waikato
All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
- Masters Degree Theses