Mining governance dilemma and impacts: A case of gold mining in Phu-Hae, Lao PDR uri icon

abstract

  • This paper reexamines how local governments exercised the legal powers related to their official rights and duties to manage the impacts of both large-scale mining (LSM) and artisanal small-scale mining (ASM) activities, and how local households perceived resource changes and what strategies they have adopted to adapt their livelihoods based on a case study of the Phu-Hae area, in Xieng Khouang province of northern Lao PDR. It reveals that local government agencies have insufficient capacity to exercise their legal powers to protect natural resources and local livelihoods, partly as a result of weak governance mechanisms. The impacts from ISM and ASM had degraded natural resources and changed local livelihood strategies, impacting particularly the poorer households and women who perceived ASM as a means to increase income and sustain precarious livelihoods, which was often as the expense of the environment and their health. It highlights the need to strengthen capacity to local government and technical training targeted at farming and non-farming livelihood activities for the local community as a way of facilitating alternative income sources for poor households involved with artisanal mining.

publication date

  • 2019
  • 2019