ABSTRACT

This chapter explores the political context of extractivism, in the form of mining, and community resistance to it, in Northern Ireland, through an environmental justice framework. Employing the concepts of rural sacrifice zones, extractive frontiers and ‘Lawscaping’, we discuss the case of Dalradian Gold who seek to open a large gold mine and processing plant in the Sperrin Mountains, County Tyrone. Northern Ireland, a peripheral region of Ireland, of the UK and of Europe, is facing multiple prospective mining developments as the extractive frontier expands.

Environmental governance in Northern Ireland is different to both the Republic of Ireland and the UK and Brexit poses its own unique challenges in this context. In this chapter, we explore how a combination of resistance techniques, policy and legislative hooks together can support pathways to a sustainable future. These pathways include an all-Island and international resistance movement, and legislative frameworks such as the landscape convention, rights of nature and the human right to the environment. These issues speak to our understandings of socio-ecological relationships and the need for regenerative, post-extractive futures for rural areas, especially in times of extreme ecological collapse.