Gem mining in Andilamena, Madagascar. Copyright Arnaud De Grave / Le Pictorium. 2016

Two sides to every coin: farmers’ perceptions of mining in the Maningory watershed, Madagascar

Natasha Stoudmann, Claude Garcia, Ihoby H. Randriamalala, Vanessa Giselle Aimée Rakotomalala, Bruno Ramamonjisoa

Abstract


An increasing share of Madagascar’s population is dependent on artisanal and small-scale mining (AMS) as a source of livelihood. However, this unregulated activity has numerous repercussions on the miners themselves and on neighboring communities. This study explores the perception of mining of those indirectly affected by its growing presence. Farmers and fishers were interviewed to better understand the perceived impacts of AMS on communities situated at varying distances from mining activity. The results of this first qualitative study show that positive or negative perception may be linked to geographical distance to mines. Those living in mining-communities may reap more benefits from the proximity than those living further away, who mainly experiencing negative effects. The results from this small sample will need to further be empirically tested.

 

Résumé

Une part croissante de la population de Madagascar tire l’essentiel de ses moyens de subsistance de l’exploitation minière artisanale et à petite échelle. Cependant, cette activité non-réglementée a de nombreuses répercussions sur les mineurs eux-mêmes et sur les communautés voisines. Cette étude explore comment les riverains indirectement touchés perçoivent l’exploitation minière qu’ils rencontrent de plus en plus souvent. Des paysans et des pêcheurs de communautés basées à des distances variées des activités minières ont été interviewés afin de mieux comprendre les impacts perçus de l’exploitation minière artisanale. Les résultats de cette première étude qualitative montrent que des perceptions positives ou négatives pourraient être liées à la distance entre les lieux de vie des communautés et les mines. Les habitants vivant au sein de communautés minières pourraient tirer plus de profit de cette proximité que ceux vivant plus loin et ressentant principalement des effets négatifs. Les résultats de ce premier échantillon devront être vérifiés de manière empirique.


Keywords


Artisanal mining; perception; livelihood strategies; resource users

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Madag. conserv. dev.
ISSN: 1662-2510