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Mining and Natural Hazard Vulnerability in the Philippines

Digging to Development or Digging to Disaster?

William N. Holden and R. Daniel Jacobson

Mining and Natural Hazard Vulnerability in the Philippines

An exploration of the dangers of mining in the Philippines, and the exacerbating effect of natural hazards upon these dangers.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781783080519
October 2013 | 306 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6 | 60+ figures and tables
PRICE:  £25.00  /  $40.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com

About This Book

“This text provides an exhaustive and engaging review of the literature surrounding issues of development in the Philippines. Holden and Jacobson leave no stone unturned as they uncover some of the most detrimental effects of modern mining practices on the surrounding natural environment and the human communities.” —Professor Kathleen Nadeau, California State University, San Bernardino

“This book speaks well of mining disasters that are accelerated and amplified by natural hazards in the Philippines such as typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. I recommend this superb work to the general public and readers with a specific interest in mining, especially those with similar situations in their own countries.” —Dr Emelina Regis, Director of the Institute for Environmental Conservation and Research, Ateneo de Naga University

“Empirically grounded and theoretically informed, Holden and Jacobson provide a compelling and powerful study of the hazards of neoliberalism and of environmental politics more broadly.” —Dr James Tyner, Professor of Geography, Kent State University

The archipelago of the Philippines is well endowed in nonferrous mineral resources such as copper, gold, lead, silver, nickel, and zinc. In recent years, the government of the Philippines, acting under the influence of the dominant and seemingly ubiquitous neoliberal development paradigm, has liberalized its mining laws to encourage the extraction of minerals by foreign corporations in order to accelerate the development of the economy. The Philippines is also a nation highly prone to a variety of natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, typhoons, and El Niño–induced droughts.

Nonferrous metals mining is an activity with a substantial potential for environmental degradation, and these various natural hazards have a high potential to adversely interact with mining’s potential for environmental degradation. Earthquakes can destabilize tailings storage facilities, typhoons can flood tailings ponds, and mine-pit dewatering can enhance the competition for groundwater resources during droughts. This study show how natural hazards can amplify the environmental harm prevalent in mining and pose a substantial threat to the livelihoods of archipelago’s poor, who are dependent upon subsistence agriculture and subsistence aquaculture.

Readership: This book will appeal to environmental activists in the Philippines, students of the Philippines, and academics conducting research into mining.

Author Information

William N. Holden is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and an inactive member of the Law Society of Alberta.

R. Daniel Jacobson is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and a Switzer Research Fellow.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; List of Tables and Figures; List of Acronyms; Introduction; Chapter One: Mining in the Philippines; Chapter Two: Government Efforts to Encourage Mining; Chapter Three: Environmental Effects of Mining; Chapter Four: Mining amid Natural Hazards; Chapter Five: Technocratic Responses to the Risks; Chapter Six: Risk Society in the Philippines; Chapter Seven: Mining as a Flawed Development Paradigm; Chapter Eight: Is Another World Possible?; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index