Artisanal Mining in Critical Ecosystems: a look at Gabon, Liberia, and Madagascar

This publication is a summary of several larger reports, which were produced by ASM-PACE in collaboration with the Program on Forests (PROFOR) and the World Bank. ASM-PACE is a multi-partner program that began as a partnership between Estelle Levin Limited and World Wide Fund for Nature (also known as the World Wildlife Fund) to address the environmental impacts of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in some of the world’s most important ecosystems, particularly protected areas and critical ecosystems (PACE).

With support from PROFOR and the Oil, Gas, and Mining Unit (SEGOM), the World Bank’s Africa regional staff contracted the ASM-PACE Program to analyze the impacts of artisanal mining activities on high-value natural landscapes and the people who live nearby. The case studies, a global solutions study, and a methodological toolkit offer recommendations on how to reconcile socioeconomic development based on artisanal mining and preservation of important ecological sites. The global study looked at 36 countries and found that artisanal and small-scale mining was taking place either inside or along the borders of 96 out of 147 protected areas in those countries. In the end, the project looked in more depth at experiences in five African countries. This report focuses on three of these: Gabon, Liberia, and Madagascar.