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This site provides information on project activities – including research and deliverables milestones, as well as outreach and dissemination activities.

The Pacific Centre for Social Responsibility and Natural Resources workshop

In the last week of June, JTPac’s Nick Bainton, Emilka Skrzypek and John Burton travelled to Pouembout in New Caledonia to take part in a workshop organised by the Pacific Centre for Social Responsibility and Natural Resources (PACSEN). The workshop brought together researchers from New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Australia in a series of critical conversations about management of natural resources in the Pacific.

In what ways can responsible and sustainable management of natural resources strengthen the region and improve the wellbeing of the Pacific communities? What are some of the risks and opportunities associated with utilisation of Pacific’s natural resources? And how will those be impacted by the dynamics of global energy transitions, and climate change?

The diversity of experiences and expertise present in the workshop demonstrated very clearly that addressing these questions will require a high level of collaboration between disciplines, sectors and countries.

ESfO Conference Panel

Emilka Skrzypek and Nick Bainton convened a panel titled Dealing with Double Exposure: Global Energy Transitions, Climate Change and Resource Extraction in the Pacific at the European Society for Oceanists’ conference in Ajaccio, Corsica, 2-6 June 2022.

The Pacific is at the frontline of a ‘double exposure’ to climate change and the consequences of economic globalisation. The panel explored ways in which Pacific peoples and nations experience and navigate the challenges of the double exposure and considers justice issues arising in the Pacific from increased resource extraction under conditions of climate change. We heard from:

  • Emilka Skrzypek: Global energy transitions and justice convergences in the Pacific
  • Jerry Jacka: Resource extraction and climate change in Papua New Guinea: the role of the Pacific in planetary phenomena
  • Tobias Shwoerer: Energy transitions in Papua New Guinea: mining, biomass plantations and local inequalities in the Markham valley
  • Norbert Pötzsch: Tongas environmental dilemma? Challenges of climate change and the increase of cars
  • Martino Miceli: Waiting for the day after: Energy transition and late-industrial disconnections in Nickeltown (Thio/ Cöö, Kanaky/ New Caledonia)

Book Launch

Nick Bainton and Emilka Skrzypek were very pleased to finally launch their new book The Absent Presence of the State in Large-Scale Resource Extraction Projects. On 8th December, the Centre for Energy Ethics at the University of St Andrews hosted a virtual launch, providing an excellent opportunity to showcase the book and discuss how the concept of ‘absent presence’ can contribute to anthropological understandings of state and extractive capitalism. Published open access with ANU Press, you can download copies of the book here

Contributing authors recorded short two-minute videos explaining how they worked with the absent presence concept and the sorts of ethnographic insights yielded through this lens. You can view the video here

Their ‘absent presence’ project also revealed itself as another critical platform for thinking about the justice issues tied to global energy transitions. As we consider the sorts of pressures and risks associated with increased extraction of critical metals in the Pacific, the state is clearly central to any future extractive scenarios. For example, will Pacific states be more present for extractive companies and their interests, or selectively absent when it comes to supporting local communities and upholding environmental responsibilities? How we conceptualise the state in the context of growing demand for critical metals under conditions of climate change is essential for understanding why certain justice issues arise and what can be done about them.

UN Pacific Forum panel on Resource Extraction and Climate Change in the Pacific – 23rd November 2021

Nick Bainton will host a panel session on Resource Extraction and Climate Change in the Pacific: Double Exposure. The session will take place at the UN Pacific Forum on Business and Human Rights on Tuesday, November 23rd. The event will be streamed online and everyone is welcome to attend.

Nick will be joined by his guests: Alex Herman, Robyn James and Joel Hamago. This session will consider the human rights consequences of increased resource extraction under conditions of climate change in the Pacific. Speakers will consider these future pressures from three different perspectives: governance, community, and industry. For more details and to register go to: