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Precarious work or sustainable livelihoods? Aligning Prestea's Programme with the development dialogue on artisanal and small†scale mining

Obed Adonteng†Kissi and Barbara Adonteng†Kissi

Natural Resources Forum, 2018, vol. 42, issue 2, 123-137

Abstract: Alternative livelihoods programmes (ALPs) are extensively executed in mining communities, often as models of development dialogue on artisanal and small†scale mining (ASM). This paper assesses whether Prestea's ALP aligns with the development dialogue on artisanal mining. The conceptual design of ALP in Ghana's Prestea is based on the notions of substitution, homogenous community, and impact scalability. This paper argues that the Prestea ALP is not aligned with the development dialogue on artisanal mining, and therefore it is difficult to understand the role and function of environmentally†damaging behaviours within livelihood strategies. The paper contends that it would be appropriate to concentrate on improving the existing artisanal miners’ operation of those most susceptible to resource access restrictions. Further, it may be more prudent to utilize livelihood†centered interventions that create strong connections with sustainable development as a way of creating regular community engagements. Additionally, this paper argues that the term for the intervention programme on artisanal mining should be replaced with the broader term ‘livelihood†centered intervention’. The replacement of the term ‘ALP’ avoids the tacit belief that ALP can adequately replace artisanal mining operations. Livelihood†centered intervention should not necessarily utilize alternative livelihoods as direct behavioural change instruments.

Date: 2018
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