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Trajectories and transformations: possible futures of artisanal gold mining in the Brazilian Amazon

Grant number: 19/09709-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2019
Effective date (End): October 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Other specific Sociologies
Cooperation agreement: Belmont Forum
Principal researcher:Lúcia da Costa Ferreira
Grantee:Jorge Calvimontes Ugarte
Home Institution: Núcleo de Estudos e Pesquisas Ambientais (NEPAM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/50033-6 - Sustainability transformations in artisanal and small scale gold mining: a multi actor and trans regional perspective, AP.R


Artisanal or small-scale mining has been practiced over the centuries and has been provided a livelihood for thousands of mostly low-income people. However, its negative impacts on society and the environment associated with the institutional fragility of its regulation, have generated significant barriers to sustainable development. On the other hand, the relations between different users with diverse trajectories have also produced differentiated actions, perspectives and aspirations around mineral resources and the territory where it is extracted. From a transformative approach of contemporary societies, this research project intends to identify practices, strategies and forms of organization that lead the activity of artisanal gold mining in the Brazilian Amazon towards sustainability vis-à-vis possible desirable and undesirable futures as described by the mining activity's actors. This analysis takes the understanding of sustainability as a complex process with different meanings, categories, and expectations depending on the trajectories of the actors involved.Through two case studies (in the district of Lourenço in the municipality of Calçoene, in the state of Amapá, and in the region of Tapajós, in the state of Pará), this project discusses the narrative concept of sustainability in relation to processes identified in the field. I will investigate the history of settlements and miners, negotiation spaces, territorial and identity issues, asymmetries of power, technological innovation, and conflicts as producers of transformation and social learning. My analysis will use the social arena approach, which is multilevel, multiactor and polyphonic.The project's results will serve as the basis for a broader interdisciplinary discussion at the transcontinental level regarding transformations for sustainability in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (Gold Matters Brazil Project - Belmont Forum/FAPESP). (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CALVIMONTES, J.; MASSARO, L.; ARAUJO, C. H. X.; MORAES, R. R.; MELLO, J.; FERREIRA, L. C.; DE THEIJE, M. Small-scale gold mining and the COVID-19 pandemic: Conflict and cooperation in the Brazilian Amazon. EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES AND SOCIETY-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, v. 7, n. 4, p. 1347-1350, NOV 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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