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When land, water and green‐grabbing cumulate: Hydropower expansion, livelihood resource reallocation and legitimisation in southwest China

When land, water and green‐grabbing cumulate: Hydropower expansion, livelihood resource... Hundreds of hydropower dam projects, of all sizes, have been initiated in Yunnan Province, China, since the late 1990s. This paper frames hydropower‐driven resource reallocations as resource grabs that combine aspects of land, water and green‐grabbing, investigating how two dams built along the Red River have impacted local communities and how corporate and governmental stakeholders have viewed local livelihood changes and considered compensation mechanisms. This research documents how hydropower expansion triggers changes in both land and water availability, in turn depriving riverside communities of a wide range of intersecting livelihood benefits. Villagers were compensated for some losses, but in ways that failed to address how impacts accumulated over time and how hydrologic changes would impact overall livelihood activities. Financial compensation and specific environmental and modernisation agendas legitimised resource reallocations together with the provincial, national and global development campaigns driving them. Considering how different actors experience, frame and address the impacts of hydropower development through a resource‐grabbing lens elucidates the compartmentalised approaches of distant hydropower actors as well as scholars. This study answers recent calls to mobilise the scholarship on resource‐grabbing in the service of shedding light on the socio‐political projects driving resource reallocations and their livelihood impacts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asia Pacific Viewpoint Wiley

When land, water and green‐grabbing cumulate: Hydropower expansion, livelihood resource reallocation and legitimisation in southwest China

Asia Pacific Viewpoint , Volume 61 (1) – Apr 1, 2020

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2020 Victoria University of Wellington and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd
ISSN
1360-7456
eISSN
1467-8373
DOI
10.1111/apv.12247
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Hundreds of hydropower dam projects, of all sizes, have been initiated in Yunnan Province, China, since the late 1990s. This paper frames hydropower‐driven resource reallocations as resource grabs that combine aspects of land, water and green‐grabbing, investigating how two dams built along the Red River have impacted local communities and how corporate and governmental stakeholders have viewed local livelihood changes and considered compensation mechanisms. This research documents how hydropower expansion triggers changes in both land and water availability, in turn depriving riverside communities of a wide range of intersecting livelihood benefits. Villagers were compensated for some losses, but in ways that failed to address how impacts accumulated over time and how hydrologic changes would impact overall livelihood activities. Financial compensation and specific environmental and modernisation agendas legitimised resource reallocations together with the provincial, national and global development campaigns driving them. Considering how different actors experience, frame and address the impacts of hydropower development through a resource‐grabbing lens elucidates the compartmentalised approaches of distant hydropower actors as well as scholars. This study answers recent calls to mobilise the scholarship on resource‐grabbing in the service of shedding light on the socio‐political projects driving resource reallocations and their livelihood impacts.

Journal

Asia Pacific ViewpointWiley

Published: Apr 1, 2020

Keywords: ; ; ; ;

References