Sustainable Economies

Growing Bougainville's Future

Jubilee Australia's Resource Centre

Bougainville is faced with a choice – to pursue a development path based on mining, or one that is broad-based and sustainable. As Bougainville plans for its long awaited independence referendum, the two questions of mining and independence have become increasingly fused in the public discourse: independence requires economic self-sufficiency and this is only possible through mining revenues. So the argument goes. Our research challenges this.

Growing Bougainville's Future 2018 Growing Bougainville's Future 2018 (14549 KB)
This 2018 report examines the choice facing the people of Bougainville and asks the question of ‘to mine or not to mine’? See further down on this page to download each chapter individually. 

The report was published along with a short film, Bougainville: Long Han Blong Yumi (Bougainville: It's In Our Hands), which was made for a Bougainvillean audience and explores many of the same issues explored in the report.

Growing Bougainville's future: Choices for an island and its peoples
Chapter Description PDF
Chapter 1: The crisis began in 1886: A long view of Bougainville’s
decolonisation struggle
Kristian Lasslett provides a historic perspective describing Bougainville’s long struggle with decolonisation.  
Chapter 2: Women’s contributions to Bougainville’s past, present and
Ruth Saovana- Spriggs writes about the role of women in the recent history of Bougainville and potential future agendas for women’s organisations in Bougainville.

Chapter 3: Mining and development: Is “good governance” really the cure?

Catherine Couman’s chapter challenges the premise that good governance is all that stands between mining and positive development outcomes.

Chapter 4: The distorting effects of the resource sector on national
economies: A case study from Papua New Guinea

Paul Flanagan tells the cautionary tale of the PNG LNG project and the negative effect resource projects can have on national economies.

Chapter 5: Can Panguna save Bougainville?
Together with Luke Fletcher, Christopher Prince looks at potential revenue streams for the government if the Panguna mine was to re-open.

Chapter 6: Towards a just and equitable economy, and a gender equal
Helena Hakena and Kate Lappin outline the adverse and irreversible impacts the Panguna mine had on women.

Chapter 7: Free prior and informed consent, development and
mining on Bougainville: Choice and the pursuit of self-determined
Cathal Doyle looks at the importance of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) for Bougainvilleans.

Chapter 8: Land in Bougainville: The relationship between customary
land tenure and sustainable development in Melanesia
Catherine Sparks and Joel Simo explore the importance of customary land across Melanesia and Bougainville.

Chapter 9: Growing island exports: High value crops and the future of
agriculture in the Pacific
Wesley Morgan provides a regional overview of the future of agriculture in Bougainville.

Chapter 10: Bougainville independence and its implications for
fisheries: A fresh approach towards co-operative oceans management
Transform Aqorau argues that an independent Bougainville could offer an opportunity for revenues from fisheries.

Chapter 11: From crisis to optimism: Building Bougainville’s future
Theonila Roka-Matbob describes what life was like growing up during the crisis and what hopes she has for the future of Bougainville.

Chapter 12: Continuing the struggle in Bougainville: Possibilities for
governance beyond the colonial-capitalist system
An anonymous contributor considers the possibilities for governance in Bougainville beyond the modern colonial-capitalist system.