Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Gold Matters

Gold Matters: Sustainability Transformations in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining: A Multi-Actor and Trans-Regional Perspective.This project explores whether a transformative approach towards sustainability can arise in Artisanal and Smallscale Gold Mining (ASGM).

2018 - 2021
Sabine Luning

Supporting the livelihoods of millions of people in low and lower middle income countries, ASGM has potential to contribute to sustainable development across the 17 SDGs. However, negative impacts generate critical barriers to sustainability. Anthropology is an entry point for an interdisciplinary approach to better conceptualize the dynamic, heterogeneous reality of ASGM and to identify potential for sustainable transformations in these shifting social settings. Capitalizing on existing ASGM partnerships, this forms the basis for a trans-continental and trans-national project organized within 7 Work Packages for integrated comparative Sustainability Tracking between South America, West Africa and East Africa. To add value to global research efforts, “Sustainability Conversations” will enhance impact, co-producing knowledge with mining actors to understand sustainability from miners’ own perspectives. A strategic evidence-based summary “Visions and Vistas for Sustainable Futures in ASGM” contributes to policy influence. Giving creative expression to people’s understandings of sustainable mining futures and building impact, is an exciting collaboration between African photographers from NUKU Studios, Ghana, and the Museum of Ethnography of Material Culture, The Netherlands. This incorporates the co-production of visual images with African and Brazilian gold miners, as the basis of an exhibition travelling “Moving Mine Matters” between West and East Africa, Brazil, and the Netherlands in 2020-1.

WThe project 'Sustainability Transformations in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining: A Multi-Actor and Trans-Regional Perspective' is financially supported by the Belmont Forum and NORFACE Joint Research Programme on Transformations to Sustainability, which is co-funded by AKA, ANR, DLR/BMBF, ESRC, FAPESP, FNRS, FWO, ISSC, JST, NSF, NWO, RCN, VR, and the European Commission through Horizon 2020.

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