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Pacification and the engineering of ‘green’ extraction in southern Madagascar

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Rogelio Luque-Lora.

The Rio Tinto QIT -Madagascar Minerals (QMM) ilmenite mine in south-eastern Madagascar has triggered serious social, environmental and legal conflicts since the late 1990s. These relate to broken promises of employment, disrupted livelihoods, poor compensation for physical and economic displacement, labor disputes, destruction of rare wetland and littoral rainforest ecologies, water pollution, and a ‘double land grab’ for mining activities and biodiversity offsetting. Despite these conflicts, the company stands by spectacular claims to be a responsible ‘green’ self-regulator and sustainable development actor, bringing conservation benefits and ‘gifts’ of development to an impoverished region. To make sense of this dynamic, this seminar explores the engineering of ‘sustainable’ mining in south-eastern Madagascar through the lens of ‘pacification’, conceptualized as a productive form of violence that works through the disruption and re-ordering of nature and society to create the exclusionary forms and spaces of ‘security’, ‘stability’ and even ‘sustainability’ that legitimize QMM ’s continued claims to social and environmental virtue.

This talk is part of the Political Ecology Group meetings series.

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