Rio Tinto's QMM ilmenite mine in Madagascar has breached a legal buffer zone, exposing local people to “unacceptably high” environmental risks, a new study by the Andrew Lees Trust has found. YVONNE ORENGO and STEVEN EMERMAN report
A planned nickel mine in Madagasca has led to numerous environmental problems, and whilst the mine continues to struggle the environmental concerns surrounding the project continue to grow. LAURENCE SOUSTRAS investigates.
Rio Tinto's QMM mine in Madagascar was meant to be an exemplar of 'corporate social responsibility' and environmental best practice. But the reality experienced by local communities is different, writes Yvonne Orengo, with uncompensated land seizures, food insecurity, deforestation and social deprivation. New concerns are emerging about the infringement of legal buffer zones and radiation exposure. Rio Tinto must be held responsible for its actions!
The Vezo, Madagascar's indigenous 'sea nomads', are travelling hundreds of miles to the remote 'Barren Isles', the Indian Ocean's largest locally-managed marine protected area, writes Charlie Gardner. Drawn by valuable shark fins and sea cucumbers, sold into Chinese markets, the Vezo are now joining with local fishers to protect the ecosystem and expel illegal divers.
Madagascar's unique Spiny Forest, a stronghold for the island's lemurs, is fast being felled for charcoal, writes Charlie Gardner - and it's a knock-on impact of the increasingly unpredictable climate and sparse rains that are forcing farmers from the land. To create a 'safety net' for the forest, first safety nets must be put in place to protect displaced farmers, fishers and pastoralists.
Marine conservation is usually expressed in austere and negative terms, writes Alasdair Harris, with strict quotas and exclusion zones. But the truth is the exact opposite: it's about working with natural ecosystems to unlock their productive potential, creating sustainable wealth and abundance for fishing communities while enhancing marine biodiversity.
'Brand lemur' could draw much needed ecotourism spending to Madagascar, writes Ian Colquhoun - benefiting local communities, and providing the funds needed to save lemurs from the very real threat of extinction.