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Maria Sapignoli
Maria Sapignoli
Research Fellow
Phone: +49 (0) 345 29 27 317

Maria Sapignoli

Exclusion, Inclusion and Marginality: Rights, Responsibilities and Indigenous Peoples

This research analyzes the international and state policies, guidelines, procedures, and legal machinery that deal with the issue of extractive industries, corporate social responsibility, environmental conservation, involuntary resettlement and displacement and the ways local people respond to, engage, are affected, and resist them in their daily practices. Although the issue of displacement of peoples has been a major subject of discussion internationally for the past several decades, there are relatively few comprehensive legal instruments that deal directly with resettlement. The United Nations has a set of guiding principles (United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement) which have been helpful in providing standards for organizations working with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) (Oliver-Smith 2012). Other organizations have also developed resettlement guidelines. Private mining and oil companies, among others, have guidelines on corporate social responsibility (CSR) which devote some attention to issues of resettlement. Issues surrounding corporate social responsibility of transnational corporations and agencies have become significant areas of debate in recent years.

The research focuses on the impacts both of conservation and of extractive industries in southern Africa (Botswana) and looks at the legal, social, economic and cultural implications of resettlement and loss or regaining of access to land, considering, in particular, the case of the San and their access to justice in the context of resettlement.

Sapignoli considers the development of silver-copper mines in Ghanzi and Ngamiland Districts that have started in the past several years, their actions, governance, consultation efforts and how they relate to the state and local affected communities. Some of my research is carried out in Botswana’s capital, corporations and government offices, and some in rural communities directly or indirectly affected such as the village of Kuke in Ghanzi District, and Toteng in Ngamiland District. She examines government policies, programs, and laws as they affect – and are affected by – companies, administrators, and people at the local level.

These cases raise questions on the relationships between the state, local communities, transnational corporations, and different normative systems in matters of land rights and recognition, on social care and livelihood supports, environmental conservation, and rural development.

Other locations, communities, settlements, and resettlement sites in Ghanzi District are part of this project and will be assessed in a comparative way, as will the different mines and their CSR policies. The goal is to gain a greater understanding of the ways in which companies, government ministries, local authorities, and communities operate, and how these can be understood on both theoretical and practical levels.


Keywords
: Resettlement, justice, extractive industries, development, conservation, international and national law, policies and institutions, collective and individual rights.

 

 
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