Sapphire mines that become forests
The island of Madagascar is one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the world. It is also rich in precious minerals and is one of the world’s significant suppliers of sapphires.
Most Madagascan gems are mined by artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) operators. Their activities leave a trail of environmental destruction and, despite the country’s riches, its people remain poor.
The German development agency GIZ has set up a dialogue process to try and tackle this complex situation. The GIZ dialogues have been arranged with support from the Madagascar Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, and with input from IIED.
We travelled to the Sakaraha region in Madagascar’s Southwest to learn how individuals and communities are dealing with environmental problems caused by mining. We found out that they are learning new ways to improve their lives and to work towards sustainable development for their local communities.