• Class Number 7106
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Paul D'Arcy
    • Dr Paul D'Arcy
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
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

Whether you are on campus or studying online, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lecture 1: Intro/overviewTheories of Development: economic expansion versus sustainable development versus social equity
2 Lecture 2: Pacific Contexts: How to measure success in sustainable development?
3 Lecture 3: Colonial legacies 1: West Papua -Freeport Mine
4 Lecture 4: Colonial legacies 2: Guam - tourism, the military and development
5 Lecture 5: Colonial legacies 3: Nauru - phosphate and detention camps
6 Lecture 6: Development’s toxic legacy 1: Nuclear colonialism legacies from Mururoa to Fukushima
8 Lecture 7: Development’s toxic legacy 2 – industrial pollution in the Pacific beyond industrial state borders

9 Lecture 8: Sustainable futures 1: Climate Change and Alternative Energy Sources
10 Lecture 9: Sustainable futures 2: Blue/Green Economy - sustainable harvests
11 Lecture 10: Sustainable futures 3: Marine Protected Areas and the recovery of Pacific marine ecosystems
12 Lecture 11: Sustainable futures 4: The Increasing need for Natural Disaster Mitigation in the Western Pacific
13 Lecture 12: Sustainable futures 5: Planning development through full cost environmental and economic accounting
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 development that meets local priorities and needs, 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.

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Critical analysis of Course themes 20 % 11/08/2023 25/08/2023 1,2,3,4
Minor Essay 35 % 08/09/2023 22/09/2023 1,2,3,4
Research Essay 45 % 27/10/2023 04/12/2023 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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 %
Due Date: 11/08/2023
Return of Assessment: 25/08/2023
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. 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 %
Due Date: 08/09/2023
Return of Assessment: 22/09/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Minor Essay

1400 words: Essay topics will be listed on wattle. 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 two.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 27/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 04/12/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research Essay

2000 words: Essay topics will be listed on the course wattle site. Students choose their Research Essay from this list, but on a different topic from their Minor Essay. 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 two.

This research essay differs from the minor essay in that it is longer and requires more in depth analysis.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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 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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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
02 6125 4345

Research Interests

Paul D'Arcy http://ssgm.bellschool.anu.edu.au/experts-publications/experts/paul-darcy

Dr Paul D'Arcy

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Paul D'Arcy
02 6125 4345

Research Interests

Paul D'Arcy http://ssgm.bellschool.anu.edu.au/experts-publications/experts/paul-darcy

Dr Paul D'Arcy

By Appointment
By Appointment

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