Zeitschrift für die Welt der Türken / Journal of World of Turks, Vol 8, No 3 (2016)

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Illegal Mining as Threat to Sustainable Development in Ghana: A Political Ecology Approach

İsmail KERVANKIRAN, Michael Gameli DZIWORNU, Kadir TEMURÇİN

Abstract


Within the past few decades, Ghana’s mining sector specifically the small scale mining subsector has been marred by controversies mainly due to its threat to sustainable development. This paper provides some insights into the inextricable linkage between sustainable development and illegal gold mining popularly referred to as “galamsey” and examines the effectiveness of political response and processes at the local and national level. While acknowledging the incommensurable role of the mining sector in poverty reduction through employment generation, the adverse impact on the environmental, economic and social fabric of society cannot be ignored. Notwithstanding this hard evidence at hand, successive governments are handicapped to reverse the devastating effects partly due to the complicated and multifaceted nature of the small scale mining sub-sector. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in three illegal mining communities comprised 12 illegal miners and officials task to monitor mining activities. We also extensively utilized official government reports and relevant academic literature to draw attention to the multiplicity and diversity of illegal mining. By examining livelihood strategies and reviewing successive government policies on mining and sustainability, we discovered gaps in the area of policy implementation and systemic marginalization of majority of communities where illegal mining occurs. In this paper, we advocate for a broader multidimensional and sectoral collaboration as a fundamental approach to confront illegal small scale mining activities.


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