World Rainforest Movement

Video|Rio Tinto’s biodiversity offset in Madagascar: Community suffering continues

With the help of the “Seeing Conflicts at the Margins” project, the community of Antsotso produced this video showing the impact of a biodiversity offset project of the mining corporation Rio Tinto /QMM on their livelihoods and their subsistence food production. To be able to claim that they offset the destruction of 1,600 hectares of forest at its ilmenite mine some 60km away from Antsotso, Rio Tinto / QMM finances a biodiversity offset project in the Bemangidy-Ivohibe forest. This forest has provided fuelwood, trees to build dug-out canoes, food, medicine and land to grow cassava to the families in Antsotso for generations. With the declaration of the forest as a biodiversity offset for Rio Tinto came restrictions on villagers’ access to and use of the forest which have, among others, put family’s food sovereignty at risk.

The video, published in February 2020, shows that little has changed for this community in the southeast of Madagascar from the situation documented in Rio Tinto’s biodiversity offset in Madagascar – Double landgrab in the name of biodiversity?, a report published in 2016 by WRM and Re:Common in 2016, or in Your Mine, a film released by Re:Common the following year: Families at the community of Antsotso suffer as aresult of the Rio Tinto /QMM biodiversity offset project while one of the world’s largest mining companies pockets the profits of mining ilmenite deposits for which 1,600 hectares of forest were destroyed by the company. The company’s claim to have compensated this destruction in reality amounts to a double land grab – at the site of the mine and at the biodiversity offset site.

See also this Mongabay article reporting on the launch of the “Seeing Conflicts at the Margins” project videos, and the Mongabay article and video on the situation at Antsotso specifically.