Eating money: narratives of equality on customary land in the context of natural resource extraction in the Solomon Islands

Dyer, Michelle (2017) Eating money: narratives of equality on customary land in the context of natural resource extraction in the Solomon Islands. Australian Journal of Anthropology, 28 (1). pp. 88-103.

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Abstract

Why do Solomon Islands' villagers continue to engage with large scale logging projects by foreign companies when they have decades of experience of the disadvantages of such deals? This paper explores village level narratives of equality surrounding a logging dispute in a village on Kolombangara Island in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. Drawing on empirical evidence I seek to understand firstly, why villagers continue to engage with logging companies, and secondly, why seemingly viable and financially attractive alternative forestry projects may not be taken up. Additionally, I examine legal recognition of a local conservation Non-Government organisation as an environmental 'stakeholder', with an accepted interest in customary land as distinct from the categorisation of 'landowners'. I conclude that village communities may continue to engage with foreign logging companies, despite their clear knowledge of the disadvantages of such projects, partly as a means of maintaining some measure of social equality in the village.

Item ID: 43652
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1757-6547
Keywords: logging; subsistence; Solomon Islands; equality; customary land tenure
Funders: James Cook University (JCU), Australian Postgraduate Award (APA)
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2016 04:33
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169901 Gender Specific Studies @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169905 Studies of Pacific Peoples Societies @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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