Black Sands, Green Plans and Conflict: Structural Adjustment, Sectoral Reforms and the Mining–Conservation–Conflict Nexus in Southern Madagascar
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This report is a policy analysis of international investments in Madagascar’s natural resources at the thematic intersection of extractive development, land reform, environmental preservation and conflict. After introducing the national and policy context, the report focuses on two recent mineral sands (locally known as fasymainty, or ‘black sands’ in southwestern Madagascar) development projects, the QMM (QIT Madagascar Minerals) Rio Tinto mining complex near Fort Dauphin in the southeast of the country and the Toliara Sands development north of the city of Toliara in southwestern Madagascar. This report uses analysis of these cases to identify factors at policy level that are implicated in the emergence and escalation of civil unrest and conflict in the context of joint resource development and environmental preservation projects in Madagascar. Both the QMM and Toliara Sands operations, which entail significant local environmental impacts in addition to social impacts, have sought to incorporate environmental offsetting into their operational plans. Additionally, both operations are associated with ongoing or emerging resistance movements and conflict episodes involving four primary stakeholder groups: government actors, foreign investors, environmentalists (including associated national and international environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs)), and local Malagasy communities impacted by mining activities.