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Biodiversity for Whom? Land Use and Access Near the Rio Tinto/QMM Ilmenite Mine in Fort Dauphin | Engaging Resources
New Anthropological Perspectives on Natural Resource Environments

Biodiversity for Whom? Land Use and Access Near the Rio Tinto/QMM Ilmenite Mine in Fort Dauphin

Caroline Seagle, Vrije University

My research examines how the neoliberalization of nature is currently unfolding within the context of [large-scale] mining and conservation partnerships in Madagascar. More specifically it addresses the socioeconomic, environmental and ontological impacts of mining-induced land dispossession and/or environmental change on people living near mineral exploitation sites and those most vulnerable shifts in land access. This paper specifically discusses the results of my Masters research (fieldwork conducted Jan-Mar in 2009), which found that Rio Tinto’s self-identification as a “green” mining company has inverted various impacts arising from the mine (deforestation, displacement, loss of tombs). Through discourses and “performances” of sustainability, which involve partnerships between extractive industries and conservation NGOs, multinational mining companies may improve land access in ecologically rich yet economically poor countries such as Madagascar.