Pacifically Specific Power - A Social Power Analysis of Coconuts as a Renewable Energy Source in the Pacific.
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to identify the current social power relations in the Pacific in order to anticipate for a possible regional shift to the use of coconut biofuel as an alternative to the use of fossil fuels for energy production. A proposed multi-national and multi-actor project by the Economic Development Division of the regional development aid agency Pacific Community (SPC), suggests that such a shift can bring about: the alleviation of Pacific Island Countries and Territories’ exuberant annual spending on fuel imports and increase economic development for rural Pacific islanders who are to participate in the production of the necessary natural resources. This thesis sets out to analyze the historical and cultural connection of the main actors who will be involved in the project, with the coconut and its (former) exploitation, through documentary analysis of secondary data and varying literary sources. The aim of this thesis is to ultimately form a coherent and illustrative study of the (theoretical) context in which development projects such as SPC’s Coconut to Biofuel seek success. By showing the differing stakes and intentions of these actors, this research showcases the necessity of using a broad and interdisciplinary scope in procuring viable, multilateral development efforts.
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