The Trust is committed to serving civil society in Madagascar, in particular to support marginalised, disenfranchised and isolated communities in the rural south. It is especially concerned about local peoples' rights and entitlements to a safe environment, food security, and to information that strengthens capabilities in natural resource management, livelihoods and wellbeing.
As part of Andrew's legacy, The Trust has endeavoured to create awareness and amplify the voices of local communities in southeast Madagascar faced with rapid development and the social and environmental challenges brought about by the Rio Tinto/QMM mining project in the Anosy region.
The Trust has collaborated with community representatives, international NGOs, legal advisers and researchers to undertake studies, collect testimonies, publish and disseminate reports, assist legal representation of mine affected communities, participate in shareholder action, present information at public meetings and talks, and lobby the mining company directly to address social and environmental issues – including to improve, communications, compensation and regulatory compliance.
Current Action: QMM's Buffer Zone Breach
The Trust focuses on promoting transparency and accountability with regard to Rio Tinto’s QMM mine operations in Anosy. Specifically since 2017 to address the violation of an environmental buffer zone that is meant to protect local waterways and lakes where people fish and gather water for domestic use; and to establish the status of radioactivity levels in the environment around the QMM mine.
The Trust commissioned international specialists to undertake studies on the QMM buffer breach and radioactivity and has actively engaged the company around the findings of their independent reports. The Trust is advocating for safe drinking water sources to be supplied to mine affected communities; it is also demanding transparency in its communications with local communities and in its relations with the Malagasy environmental regulator.
Gratitude is extended to all the individuals and organisations that have participated in the Trust's advocay work by providing advice, financial assistance, legal and technical inputs, research studies, and moral support. All are testimony to the prevailing solidarity for the people of southern Madagascar.
The Trust also thanks the Oak Foundation for its support.