Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Research Student: Dr Nketti Mason

Resource Curse, Environmental Governance in the mining sector in Sierra Leone. Case study Kono.

Photo of Dr Nketti Mason

Historically, in mineral rich African countries such as Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea environmental management and social justice in host mining communities have been secondary to capital accumulation and economic development.  Consequently in these countries the ‘Curse of Natural resources’ (RC) has been evident. This created and perpetuated a ubiquitous situation consisting of widespread discontentment, poverty, inequality and environmental degradation (Ross, 1999, Bush, 2007, Bush, 2008, Bush, 2009, Harvey, 2003) .

Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) and civil society organisations in Sierra Leone have also documented this lack of accountability specifically to the poor and vulnerable and the environment in the mining areas. They have referred specifically to the lack of community involvement (participation, representation and devolution of power) and poor prevention and handling of the effects of mining on the communities and the environment and thus an inequitable and unsustainable use and access to natural resources (USAID, 2007, World Bank, 2008b).

This thesis explores and critically examines an evolving environmental governance agenda that is being pursued by International Financial Institutions such as The World Bank in Sierra Leone’s mining sector and its’ implementation and enforcement in the Kono region.  This has been explored in the context of large scale and alluvial mining in Sierra Leone and specifically in the Kono district.

It does this with particular reference to, the mitigation of environmental stresses and the delivery of social justice (procedural and distributive and environmental justice) in Kono. This thesis also examines to what extent the evolving environmental governance agenda and its consequences in Kono’s host mining community stems from and is shaped by neoliberalism and its reform policies.

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