Mining activities management between the QIT Minerals Madagascar (QMM) and the Anosy region in Madagascar
This case study investigates the Anosy region in Madagascar. With the QIT Minerals Madagascar also known as QMM operating ilmenite mineral extraction since 2005 in the south-eastern edge of the island, the impact on local community forest is significant. The local people who are the affected stakeholder are immensely in poverty which they depend heavily on the use of timber and land for food and necessary needs. However, QMM which is the interested stakeholder compensates the loss of biodiversity from mining by setting restrictions to local people from accessing the forest which resulted in the struggle of the local community. Another effect is that the locals need to walk 3-4 kilometers to the new area and unfortunately, sandy soil did not support the crop well to support enough food for families. The management between QMM and Anosy region lacks communication because QMM project did not tell what is exactly happening in the biodiversity offset project until the locals were restricted strictly from their customary land. Locals were unhappy because QMM did not ask for opinions operating the mining project on their property, and they felt offended that foreigners can do what they want without permission from the locals. By looking at the relationship between QMM and various interested stakeholder as well as the affected stakeholder, it is wrong to violate the local peoples' right.
The Anosy region is located southeast of Madagascar with the largest remaining tracts of humid and low lying littoral forest habitat. It is designated with the highest conservation status in Madagascar because the forests has great biodiversity and is said for economic potential for future development.  Since 2005, Rio Tinto's QMM mine has been operating in Fort Dauphin, Madagascar, the Anosy region.  Local people of the Anosy region depends heavily on the forest for their only source of food and needs.
About 6000 hectare of coastal landscape is being operated by the QMM project while 1097 hectares have been restricted for conservation purposes.  Locals whose lives depend on the forest are now being restricted from their own traditional right and must pay to enter the forest to take products, or a fine will be issued.  Out of the 6000 hectares for mining project, 620 hectares are preserved for ecotourism as this part of the forest has great biodiveristy.  In the late 1980s, QMM began to explore the Anosy region and started social and environmental studies and was fully set up as a program in the mid-1990s.  "In 1998, a legal and financial framework was agreed between QMM and the Government of Madagascar. The agreement was ratified by the Malagasy National Assembly and then formally announced by the President of Madagascar"  In the August of 2005, Rio Tinto approved the project for mining in the Anosy Region and the construction was initiated in the January of 2006. 
Timeline of events in Madagascar December, 2008: The first vessel, Zhen Hua 21 initiated the start of the project when it first loaded equipments at the Ehoala Port.  Many ships came after that for boosted the local and regional economy.  May, 2009: The first group of extraction of mine in Madagascar was exported out in a shipment.  "The total investment in Canada and Madagascar to complete the project was US$1.1 billion, with approximately US$940 million invested in Madagascar.” 
Rio Tinto is a UK-Australian multinational mining group invested in billions of dollars on a mining project since 2005 in Madagascar's southeast Anosy region.  North America and Europe are the main consumers of ilmenite followed by China. 
"Ilmenite mining takes place through the creation of artificial freshwater lakes and the use of a wet dredge to separate the desired minerals form other trace minerals".  The negative consequence resulting from the extraction is the appearance of monazite. Monazite is a radioactive mineral and has impact on health for example, "difficulties in pregnancy, increases in miscarriage, impotence, and child illness". 
In Madagascar, many local population are displaced because they were not being consulted in the forming of projects. All decision making, the allocation of materials and planning was mainly centered in the interests of corporation, government and environmental NGOs.  There are more impacts on the affected stakeholder, displaced populations in this area than the winners, interested stakeholders, who works on major development projects and has higher authority in the making of decisions. This is common in many part of the world where local peoples' voices are not heard.
In 1986, QIT signed a partnership with OMNIS to create a joint group where 20% is owned by the government of Madagascar and 80% is owned by Rio Tinto for extracting of ilmenite of an area of 6000 hectares in Madagascar.  After 6 years in 1992, The Rio Conference developed a voluntary plan to control environmental damage done by the extraction of mine for economic development.  The environmental damage is unavoidable because of another reason. In order to keep up with the World Bank guidelines, Malagasy government depends tremendously on foreign investment to reduce poverty by promoting economic growth.  When QIT Madagascar Minerals started a mining project in 2009 in southeast Madagascar, they had planned steps to decrease environmental footprint.  The Anosy region contains as high as 83% endemic plant species in Madagascar’s last littoral forest.  In order to sustain the environment, “QMM has built two nurseries able to produce more than 250,000 plants a year for rehabilitation and restoration process.”  Even though “mining process does not require chemicals but does involve digging to a depth of twenty meters, resulting in the destruction of the mycelium network and other symbiotic microorganisms found in the soil”. 
Estimates show that out of 90% of Malagasy farmers who own land, only 8 percent holds an official title to their land. “Ownership” was a problem in this area as all the resources such as forest, land and water are communally accessed in Anosy.  Communally access in Anosy region means that the Malagasy farmers has customary right and has the right to use the land. However, without a title, it was hard to have a support saying that they own the land. Whereas the government has sovereign over the country and started working with QIT in 1986 when a agreement was signed for the extraction of mining. 
Malagasy farmers who depends heavily on the land for their livelihood.
Local people in the Anosy Region who uses forests to find resources such as food.
Rio Tinto QMM: a project for the extraction of mine for economic benefit
CRD (Capital Regional District): help the local community with environmental protection
NGOs: participate in offset projects
BirdLife International in Madagascar: they are in charge of the offset projects
National government: they work with mining projects and one of the reason is to improve local economy
"The CRD is an interface between the decentralized regional government bodies, the companies working in the region and the civil society."  CRD managed to assist the local with environmental protection by using campaigns.  Also, "Rio Tinto undertook to support education, health and social infrastructures".  There were problems in adding the whole population to the participating process as it was restricted within the national, regional authorities and civil society representatives. As a result, population who depends largely on the forest for natural resource are struggling to gather their customary right of the land because areas both under the mining project and protected for conservation are restricted by QMM.  As mentioned above, decisions are highly centralized in government and companies which are the interested stakeholders. "The QMM project has created tensions because of a lack of consideration of the local populations. The frustration felt by people when the project does not deliver on its promise of well-being is also a main stake". 
Even though mining has the positive potential to generate jobs and opportunities, the negative impact to the environment is unavoidable.  Some of the negative environmental impacts are “both directly, including through pollution, habitat destruction, introducing alien species and indirectly by facilitating access for logging, agricultural expansion or hunting”.  Madagascar attracts large companies for the extracting of mining because it is a global hotspot for biodiversity and unique wildlife. 
Villagers such as the Antsotso are facing hunger and are being restricted from their customary land to the QMM mining project.  Villagers are not being compensated from the income of alternative activities as promised by the project at the beginning.  Beside from the forests, the only other place for local population to access necessary need is sand dunes located 3-4 kilometers from the village passing streams and lagoon.  The word 'dina' is a traditional system to regulate customary land by agreeing on who can use the land and how areas are distributed. The locals has customary right which is the dina and these rights are not written.  It is said that these rules did not need written down on paper because "Those to whom it applied had been involved in the negotiation and as part of the process, they committed to respecting what had been agreed together." 
In Madagascar, Rio Tinto QMM and many groups working with them for the extraction of mine is affecting the livelihood of local people. "Net Positive Impact" said from these interested stakeholders argues and claim that "the forest at the biodiveristy offset sites would have been destroyed through peasant farming without the activities implemented by Rio Tinto and its partners through the biodiversity offset".  Where in reality, both the mining site and areas being protected or restricted are not accessible for local people. This is a threat because villagers need these land to plant and use resources as this is the only way.  Both site for mining and areas restricted for local people to access benefits the QMM in the extraction of ilmenite and forest resources.
BirdLife International is a company that holds annual birdwatching events in the Mandena conservation zone, which is owned by the government.  This is especially unfair for the local because they use it as another area for economic profit instead of conserving it as a compensation for the villagers. Local people are restricted from this protected area and will be fined if violation occurs because this Mandena zone is officially part of the Madagascar's legal system of protected areas (SAPM). 
The Anosy region has great biodiversity because the wet region ranges from "littoral, humid and transition forests to marshlands and wooded bush".  Fort Dauphin the main city of the Anosy region has been planned in the programme for mining development since 2005.
This mining project is part of the "Integrated Growth Poles Project" where it is designed to 'support private sector-led growth through the provisioning of a conducive legal, physical and business environment in selected regions... centred on tourism, mining and industrial parks'.  It is part of the World Bank 'growth pole' for economic growth as this place has abundant ilmenite  which 'increased household incomes leading to poverty reduction'. 
1097 hectares out of 6000 of coastal landscape under the reservation for QMM project has been restricted for the local to access.  The restricting of land, especially customary land has led to many inconvenience for the local community because they rely heavily on the forest. "Conservation zones" designed by QMM and the Forest Service restricts local access to the forest and set rules associated with it.  Locals may be criminalized if they violated the rules and that they now need to pay money in order to enter and take products from the forest. 
Since the mining project is huge, new port, roads and space is needed for the mining project.  This led to the displacement of communities and restriction from traditional fishing sites.  Even though displaced populations receives cash for compensation, it is still not enough to balance the loss and gain. "Most consider it insufficient to balance the loss of access to farmlands or fishing areas that have supported their families over many generation". 
Mandena forest now owned by the government was previously owned by the villagers for cultivation, food, wood and medicinal plant.  Tombs under the forest were reported being displaced by Rio Tinto/QMM- "an act that is considered a serious fady (taboo) in most Malagasy customs (fombo)." 
Lists of resources found in the littoral forest, Mandena are used frequently by locals 
1. Hundreds of medicinal plants
2. Food such as via, guavas, fruit trees and boreko
3. At least eight species are used for the construction of Malagasy house
<ref>tag; name "movement" defined multiple times with different content
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