Institutional aspects of artisanal mining in forest landscapes, western Congo Basin

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This contribution examines the multiple impacts of artisanal mining in the high-biodiversity forest of the Congo Basin's Sangha Tri-National Landscape (TNS), and proposes measures for improving livelihoods in the area. It was concluded from a literature review, interviews and site visits that: diamonds and gold are an important but highly variable income source for at least 5% of the area's population; environmental impacts are temporary and limited, mainly caused by mining inside the parks; overlaps between artisanal small-scale mining (ASM), large-scale mining (LSM), timber concessions, and national and trans-boundary protected areas have intensified competition for land resources; and despite the existence of legal frameworks, ASM is largely informal. Cross-boundary agreements concerning the TNS do not address mining, albeit a regional approach of mining policies is recommendable to reinforce beneficial outcomes for the landscape and the area's population.

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