Environmental protection in Madagascar: Biodiversity offsetting in the mining sector as a corporate social responsibility strategy
The Extractive Industries and Society, Vol. 15, 2023, Lynda Hubert Ta et Bonnie Campbell, 1 septembre 2023, Bonnie Campbell
Drawing on the example of industrial mining in Madagascar, this article explores the emergence of biodiversity offsets as a corporate social responsibility strategy (CSR) put forward by companies and their implications for environmental protection. It adopts the notion of the State’s “selective absence” to frame an analysis of how reforms to regulatory frameworks in the 1990s resulted in the State’s retreat and transfer of what were formerly considered State functions to private operators. The article examines specific mine sites in Madagascar and continuity with past trends to document the nature and extent of mining’s environmental impacts and the implications of such strategies for the rich biodiversity that characterises the island. To illustrate certain responses mining companies have had to these impacts, the article draws attention to biodiversity offsets companies have voluntarily implemented to achieve no net loss or net gain of biodiversity to compensate for residual biodiversity loss from their activities. It documents the evolution of the discourse that legitimises such practices of environmental protection and their consequences, including the violation of local communities’ rights. It concludes that the nature of this type of CSR initiative in Madagascar is characterised by important shortcomings and cannot be considered as providing longer-term, or environmentally sustainable, solutions to the issues at hand.
Lynda Hubert Ta, Faculté de droit, section de droit civil, Université d’Ottawa et Bonnie Campbell, professeure émérite, département de science politique, UQAM
Pour citer l’article
Ta, L. H., & Campbell, B. (2023). Environmental protection in Madagascar: Biodiversity offsetting in the mining sector as a corporate social responsibility strategy. The Extractive Industries and Society, 15, 101305. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2023.101305