This study assesses the impact of artisanal gold mining in the Ngoyla-Mintom Forest Massif (NMFM) on local livelihoods and the environment. The methodology for the research consisted in a literature review, visits to eight mining camps in the periphery of Mintom, interviews with 95 miners, focus group discussions with actors involved in activities related to gold mining, and stakeholder consultations. The results show that miners earn a minimum of XAF 80,000 (US$ 160) per month, which is about three times the average wage in Cameroon (XAF 28,216 or US$56) and as much as XAF 800,000 (US$ 1600) a month. Mining leads to the creation of many associated activities such as portering, catering and the intensification of hunting, collection of NTFPs, and fishing, among others. The most negative social impact of mining is associated with activities such as prostitution, which leads to the quick spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV/AIDS. Mining and its associated activities also have negative impacts on the environment such as destruction of fragile forest ecosystems especially swamps, diversion, sedimentation and pollution of small water ways, and soil destruction, although at a relatively small scale.
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