Is the god of diamonds alone? The role of institutions in artisanal mining in forest landscapes, Congo Basin
This paper examines the institutional framework of artisanal mining in the forests of the Sangha Tri-National Landscape (TNS) in the Congo Basin. Artisanal miners in Cameroon and the Central African Republic (CAR) commonly make sacrifices to their god of diamonds, to improve fortunes. This study looks into ‘the other forces’; institutions that play a role in shaping the sector and its outcomes. These institutions comprise formal and informal institutions at a local, national, regional and international level. Although artisanal miners in TNS benefit by gaining cash income, this activity also carries risks as income is highly disparate and environmental impacts in this priority forest conservation area are expected to increase due to the growing competition over land use. It was concluded from a literature review, interviews and site visits that informal arrangements dominate the sector, especially in Cameroon, leading to poor relations between officials and miners and meaning that miners have few rights and no voice. The current institutional setup is inadequate to deal with current and anticipated social and environmental issues. Future interventions need to take into account the existing (local) types of organization, vulnerable groups, the interests of multiple actors and the fact that most miners are experienced but combine mining with other activities, such as agriculture, fishing and harvesting forest products. African initiatives concerning ASM offer opportunities to Cameroon and CAR to collaborate with other countries to combat similar issues. A regional integrated approach of both the forest and mining sector would be especially relevant for trans-boundary agreements, such as concerning the TNS, to reinforce positive outcomes for the landscape and the area's population.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Virginia Haufler, 2009. "The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme: An Innovation in Global Governance and Conflict Prevention," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 89(4), pages 403-416, March.
- Leach, Melissa & Mearns, Robin & Scoones, Ian, 1999. "Environmental Entitlements: Dynamics and Institutions in Community-Based Natural Resource Management," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 225-247, February.
- Hilson, Gavin, 2008. "'A load too heavy': Critical reflections on the child labor problem in Africa's small-scale mining sector," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 1233-1245, November.
- Hilson, Gavin & Pardie, Sandra, 2006. "Mercury: An agent of poverty in Ghana's small-scale gold-mining sector?," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 106-116, June.
- Hilson, Gavin, 2009. "Small-scale mining, poverty and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa: An overview," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 1-5.
- Walle, Manfred & Jennings, Norman, 2001. "Safety & health in small-scale surface mines : a handbook," ILO Working Papers 366222, International Labour Organization.
- Tschakert, Petra, 2009. "Recognizing and nurturing artisanal mining as a viable livelihood," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 24-31.
- Gavin Hilson & Sadia Mohammed Banchirigah, 2009. "Are Alternative Livelihood Projects Alleviating Poverty in Mining Communities? Experiences from Ghana," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 172-196.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:4:p:363-371. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.