Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 371

371 Arctic Yearbook 2014   attractiveness of nature, that is a local natural resource such as mining, might turn out to be a new monoculture in a community in economic transition from one industry to another (Kauppila et al. 2009: 432–433; Schmallegger & Carson 2010: 202). Hence, potential alternative sources of employment were treated as big ‘industries’, which by tradition had to be massive projects instead of more realistic small-scale projects that would lead to economic diversification. The alternative industry, in this case tourism, was treated like the mining industry, which is dependent on public subsidies. Hence, its economic sustainability and market potential were not taken into account, which resembles the ‘staples trap’ (Schmallegger & Carson 2010). Since the official announcement of the failure of Russian Lapland project in Revda, news has followed that the project is being developed with small steps by supporting the growth of SMEs (“V Zapolyar’e…” 2012). This would follow the international experience of more successful small scale economic diversification instead of economically questionable massive projects, which often result in failures. Therefore, the program of Minregion brought at least a small initiative to self-evaluation of existing prospects for economic diversification, which in future might bring small scale positive changes to communities such as Revda. Conclusions and Discussion Table 2 below summarizes the main impacts of path-dependency, the resource curse and paternalistic expectations on efforts at economic diversification in the case study’s mining communities of the Murmansk region. Table 2: Summary of the results Kirovsk Revda Path-Dependency: Resource Path Diversified path from the beginning (both mining and nature tourism potential are utilized) Currently only the mining option utilized out of all the natural resource potential of the district Resource curse and economic diversification Financial level (partial dependence on the resource firm and public authorities in the economic diversification projects) Financial level (great dependence on public authorities); Mental level (resource fatalism) Expectations of subsidies and paternalism from public authorities to local industries Middle: Participation needed and expected from the local resource firm to support the tourism industry. The construction of tourism infrastructure is also dependent on investments from the regional High: State subsidies are expected to the main resource firm Lovozerskii GOK due to its economic problems. Public investments were expected to be the main source of money for the construction of tourism infrastructure. The expectations of subsidies on the main industry have Resource-Based Development & the Challenge of Economic Diversification