De l’extractivisme au développement local : le modèle de l’opérateur territorial de ressource : le cas la petite hydroélectricité dans la région du Lac-Saint-Jean au Québec, Canada

Abstract : This thesis is about the process of appropriation of natural resource exploitation by territorial actors. We analyse the impact of the extraction of resources by territorial operators, defined as an organization established by local actors with a view to transforming a extractive resource into a territorial resource. The chosen case study is the hydroelectricity sector in the Lac-Saint-Jean region in Quebec Province, Canada. We focus on two hydroelectric projects that were led by local municipal authorities and the Innu First Nation community. The regional development of Lac-Saint-Jean, like other Canadian “natural resource regions”, is characterised by the predominance of exogenous industrial enterprises exploiting natural resources. Revenues from resource production have been found to only marginally benefit the wider region. The thesis is divided into two parts. The first part of this thesis outlines the theoretical and contextual framework for analysis. It enables the categorisation of several types of operator and the definition of the characteristics of a territorial operator. It also introduces both institutional and local contexts of the case study, particularly the conventional model of natural resource exploitation in Canada and the Lac Saint-Jean region. The second part provides a detailed analysis of the case study. The findings underline that the territorial operator model can allow local actors to establish regional governance over extractive resources throughout the different stages of resource production. The territorial operator is also characterised by its capacity to capture the revenues from production and to redistribute these revenues across the regional economy. Finally, territorial operator leads to create the specific attributes of a resource, thereby enabling its use locally alongside other types of resources in the framework of a regional project. The regional operator model is thus found to be a powerful model for the territorial appropriation of a natural resource.
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Lucas Durand. De l’extractivisme au développement local : le modèle de l’opérateur territorial de ressource : le cas la petite hydroélectricité dans la région du Lac-Saint-Jean au Québec, Canada. Géographie. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAH027⟩. ⟨tel-02276972⟩

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