Project Profile: Gold Matters

Sustainability Transformations in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining: A Multi-Actor and Trans-Regional Perspective


Principal Investigators: Eleanor Fisher, University of Reading, United Kingdom
Partners: Marjo de Theije, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Michael Schnegg, University of Hamburg, Germany
Cristiano Lanzano, Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Sweden
Peter Hochet, Insuco Foundation for Social Science Research, Burkina Faso
Lucia da Costa Ferreira, Campinas State University, Brazil
Sabine Luning, Leiden University, Netherlands
Robert Pijpers, University of Oslo, Norway
Peter Pels, Leiden University, Netherlands
Wayne Modest, VU University Amsterdam and Research Center for Material Culture, Netherlands
Alizeta Ouedraogo, Insuco Foundation for Social Research in Africa, Burkina Faso
Tatiane Marine, NAP Mineração, Brazil
Giorgio de Tomi, NAP Mineração, Brazil
Samira El Saifi, Campinas State University, Brazil
Margaret Tuhumwire, Environmental Women in Action for Development, Sweden
Ronald Twongyirwe, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, United Kingdom
Hannelore Verbrugge, University of Leuven, Belgium
Nii Obodai, Insuco Foundation for Social Science Research, Ghana
Luigi Arnaldi di Balme, Insuco Foundation for Social Science Research, Burkina Faso
Sponsors: São Paulo Research Foundation, Brazil
Federal Ministry for Education and Research, Germany
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Netherlands
Swedish Research Council, Sweden
Economic and Social Research Council, United Kingdom
International Social Science Council


Full Project Title: Sustainability Transformations in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining: A Multi-Actor and Trans-Regional Perspective
Full Call Title: T2S2016


Project Objective: The aim of this research is to consider whether and how societal transformation towards sustainable mining futures can take place in ASGM. This includes critically reflecting on what sort of sustainability this might involve, for whom, and how. To examine whether it is possible to achieve sustainable futures in mining regions, we put forward the concept of gold lifeways to better conceptualize sustainability dynamics.

Questions the proposal seeks to answer:
1. How can sustainable mining futures develop out of the existing dynamics of gold lifeways?
2. How do different ASGM actors frame the - sustainable / unsustainable – effects of mining on people, economy and the natural environment?
3. How can focusing on societal transformations to sustainability within gold lifeways contribute to: (a) better governance of more sustainable ASGM; and, (b) improved wellbeing, quality of life and gender equality for miners and local communities?
4. How can modes of communication be developed that incorporate diverse visions of sustainability, including by gold miners, to identify empirically informed, yet more imaginative vistas for sustainable futures in gold lifeways?
Call Objective: T2S has two major objectives:

To develop understanding of and promote research on transformations to sustainability which are of significant social, economic and policy concern throughout the world and of great relevance to both academics and stakeholders;

To build capacity, overcome fragmentation and have a lasting impact on both society and the research landscape by cultivating durable research collaboration across multiple borders, disciplinary boundaries, and with practitioners and societal partners. This includes facilitating the development of new research collaborations with parts of the world which are not often involved in large-scale international research efforts, notably low- and middle-income countries.


Regions: Africa, South America
Countries: Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Tanzania, Uganda


Duration: 46 months
Call Date: July 6, 2017
Project Award Date: 2018