• Class Number 7217
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Paul D'Arcy
    • Dr Paul D'Arcy
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

What are the major environmental and social issues around resource extraction projects in Melanesia?
Do countries in the Pacific that are rich in natural resources experience a resource curse?
What were the Solomon Islands tensions about?
Why have Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu both experienced recent land grabs?
Learn directly from some of ANU's Pacific experts and learn the answers to these questions.
The course examines the contemporary relationships between environment, development and conflict in the cultural area known as “Melanesia”, with a particular focus on the independent nations of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Teaching and learning are organised around three case applied studies in which groups of students take the lead in directing the enquiry. The broad topics of the case studies are land and development, conflict, and Australia's ongoing engagements with the Pacific. The course engages the disciplinary lenses of geography, anthropology and to a lesser extent, political science.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the diversity and complexity of perspectives on natural resource exploitation in developing country settings, particularly the Pacific Islands
  2. Describe and critique key theoretical perspectives on sustainable development and environmental revival and conservation in developing country settings
  3. Describe and critique key policy approaches to managing and mitigating environmental degradation in Pacific Island contexts
  4. Apply some of the methodological and conceptual tools of social sciences to the analysis of natural resource conflicts and questions of sustainable development

Required Resources

All course readings are provided on the course wattle site

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lecture 1: Intro/overview Theories of Development: economic expansion versus sustainable development versus social equity
2 Lecture 2: Pacific Contexts: How to measure success in sustainable development? Tutorial 1: Options open to Pacific Island nations to realize their preferred sustainable development goals
3 Lecture 3: Colonial legacies 1: West Papua -Freeport Mine Tutorial 2: Strategies for correcting political and environmental imbalances in Papua
4 Lecture 4: Colonial legacies 2: Guam - tourism, the military and development Tutorial 3: Development options for Guam to maximize environmental sustainability and local autonomy Critical Analysis of Course Themes due 20 August
5 Lecture 5: Colonial legacies 3: Nauru - phosphate and detention camps Tutorial 4: Adequate compensation for, and effective rehabilitation of, Nauru’s mined areas
6 Lecture 6: Development’s toxic legacy 1: Nuclear colonialism legacies from Mururoa to Fukushima Tutorial 5: Negotiating compensation for US nuclear testing in Marshall Islands and the prospects of environmental revival
8 Lecture 7: Development’s toxic legacy 2 – industrial pollution in the Pacific beyond industrial state borders Tutorial 6: Pacific Island nations’ national and international strategies for cleaning up ocean pollution Minor essay due September 24
9 Lecture 8: Sustainable futures 1: Climate Change and Alternative Energy Sources Tutorial 7: Designing a sustainable energy policy for Fiji
10 Lecture 9: Sustainable futures 2: Blue/Green Economy - sustainable harvests Tutorial 8: Policies and practices to facilitate Blue/Green sustainable economies for the Pacific
11 Lecture 10: Sustainable futures 3: Marine Protected Areas and the recovery of Pacific marine ecosystems - the Philippines Tutorial 9: MPA management to revive fisheries and promote gender equity and socila development
12 Lecture 11: Sustainable futures 4: The Increasing need for Natural Disaster Mitigation in the Western Pacific Tutorial 10: National and regional natural disaster planning priorities in the Western Pacific
13 Lecture 12: Sustainable futures 5: Planning development through full cost environmental and economic accounting Tutorial 11: Alternative ways of measuring ‘work’ and allocating resources for sustainable development for the whole population Research essay due October 29
14 There has been mounting criticism of the relative ineffectiveness of aid to Pacific Island nations in recent decades by both donors and Pacific nations. This has coincided with questioning of the effectiveness of aid worldwide, and assertions of national independence by aid recipients in response to increasing demands that donor nations implement national policies in keeping with donors’ definition of effective means of realizing development. Some nations have even begun to question if aid is effective counter-productive to development by fostering dependency. Questions over how to increase sustainable use of resources have run parallel to this debate as environmental degradation from unsustainable resource extraction largely run my multinational companies has continue at pace. A third debate has arisen on how to make development also climate proof as global warming begins to have major and regular impacts on Pacific Island nations. This course examines the range of recent debate on the three related issues of aid, effective national development, and environmental sustainability. After examining theoretical and policy debates it moves to examine various forms of post-colonialism and dependency in the Pacific, the negative environmental legacies for the Pacific arising of rapid post-war modernization of the world’s economic powerhouses on the Pacific Rim, before moving on in the second half of the course to examine sustainable development options for Pacific Island nations now and into the future in the face of global warming, and external economic pressures. Ultimately, the course seeks to ascertain the degree to which Pacific Island nations can better protect their resources and determine their economic, social and environmental futures through different approaches and the degree to which their environmental circumstance restrict their options. It tacks between specific contexts and case studies on the one hand, and general comparative perspectives on the other, with an emphasis on problem solving exercises to apply general concepts to specific examples in tutorials and other assessment.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Critical analysis of Course themes 20 % 1,2,3,4
Minor Essay 35 % 1,2,3,4
Research Essay 45 % 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Critical analysis of Course themes

800 words - Students are to provide a succinct critical analysis of any one tutorial question of the student’s choice from the 11 in the course listed on wattle. Students must demonstrate their comprehension and critical engagement with the tutorial readings for the week plus familiarity with at least 2 other items of literature on the topic.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Minor Essay

1400 words: Essay topics are listed on wattle. Students choose their Minor Essay from this list, although the list of topics includes the option of designing your own question in consultation with the course convener Essay topics and essay research and writing will be discussed in the first lecture in week one as well as the first tutorial in week 2

Assessment Task 3

Value: 45 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research Essay

2000 words: Essay topics are listed on the course wattle site. Students choose their Research Essay from this list, but on a different topic from their Minor Essay. Please note that the list of topics incudes designing your own question in consultation with the course convener. Essay topics and essay research and writing will be discussed in the first lecture in week one as well as the first tutorial in week 2.

This research essay differs from the minor essay in that it is longer and requires more in depth analysis, so it is suggested that this is the best option to pursue your particular research passions, which can be designed through option 14 in the essay list where you design your own question in consultation with the course convener.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Paul D'Arcy

By Appointment
Dr Paul D'Arcy

Research Interests

Dr Paul D'Arcy

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions