Theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches from the peacebuilding discipline do not currently feature in sustainable development strategies related to company-community conflict in the mining industry. Peacebuilding theory establishes that sustainable peace can be reached through conflict transformation. Transformation of a conflict is different from ‘conflict management’ both in orientation and intent. Conflict management, a popular term in contemporary mining industry discourse, often seeks to suppress, contain or otherwise avoid the consequences of conflict. These goals are not necessarily possible, or productive, in an ongoing relationship between various parties who are concerned about issues related to the use and management of natural resources. Instead, a focus on conflict transformation acknowledges that conflict is fundamental to enduring relationships and that its energy can be harnessed for improved outcomes between parties. This paper advocates that the notion of ‘sustainable peace’ be brought into frame in the mining industry’s approach to sustainable development.
|Keywords:||Peacebuilding, Sustainable Peace, Social Sustainability, Mining, Conflict Transformation|
PhD Candidate and Research Assistant, The Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia