Just adaptation at ‘resource frontiers’: empowerment and climate in northern post-Soviet Russia

Julia Loginova - PhD Completion Seminar

Melbourne School of Design - Japanese Room

Abstract: Despite the growth in work linking climate change responses and development agendas, there has been limited attention to the political economy of resource extraction, in particular local focus has been largely overlooked. Indigenous and non-indigenous rural communities face the unjust distribution of social and environmental externalities from the ‘double exposure’ of climate change and resource extraction, both defining features of the Anthropocene. Underpinning this phenomenon are the discourses on low-carbon climate-compatible development that implies phasing out fossil fuels, but an equity principle suggests poorer countries can boost their extraction. Human geographers’ interpretations of resource governance and political ecologies of adaptation can reveal local practicalities needed for decision-making if inclusive just adaptation is to be achieved.

Taking a critical perspective, this thesis explores why and how existing context-based institutions and scalar politics, through discourses and strategies, continue to support extraction of fossil fuels and minerals in northern Russia. Further, distributional and relational injustices have been experienced by indigenous and non-indigenous rural communities who continue to rely on traditional subsistence-based livelihoods. This is accompanied by explaining how local vulnerabilities translate into local community’s efforts to convert their knowledge and agency into practices, but can institutions learn and challenge ‘business as usual’?

Biography: Prior commencing her PhD in 2014, Julia has been engaged in rural and regional development projects in indigenous and non-indigenous communities across Russia, Norway and Canada. Julia has a graduate degree in Economics and Law, and Bachelor in Natural Resource Management.

Dr Anna Hurlimann

Dr Anna Hurlimann
Professor Simon Batterbury
Dr Ole Fryd

Advisory Committee:
Dr Scott Heyes
Dr Jennifer Day