Small-scale gold mining and social conflict in the Amazon:
Comparing states, environments, local populations and miners
in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Suriname
Over the last few decades, the growth in small-scale gold mining has resulted in environmental problems and socio-political conflicts in the Amazon. The countries affected include Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Suriname. Uncontrolled polluting activities of small-scale gold mining often threaten the livelihoods of indigenous peoples, but also the health of the miners themselves and their families. Cross-border tensions arise when miners from one country invade another, or smuggle gold between countries. With the recent instability in the world economy driving up the price of gold, and with techniques becoming more mechanised, the scale of the problems is increasing.
What does GOMIAM do?
The principal objective of this project, is to develop a comparative understanding of socio-political and environmental conflicts related to small scale gold mining in the Amazon, and contribute to their possible solution. The first phase of the project, from 2011 to 2013, will be dedicated to a comparative analyis of the different political and environmental situations in the countries of research. By creating a partnership between academic experts, politicians, local communities and small-scale miners, this project presents a comprehensive and integrated viewpoint on the issues concerned. This innovative, interdisciplinary, anthropological approach will form the basis for creating policy advocacy initiatives that will start to be implemented during the second phase of the project.
We invite you to explore our website and get involved in the project initiatives.