Jacob Obodai, Edge Hill University

Various images showing the Interface of Environment and Human Wellbeing: Exploring the Impacts of Gold Mining on Food Security
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Tuesday 12th December 2023
Image showing the socio-economic impact of mining, its environmental challenges and sustainable development as well as the wellbeing of people living near mining sites

This talk explores the relationships between the environment and human wellbeing, focusing on four broad themes: sustainable development, policy and governance, biodiversity loss, and inequality. Specifically, it sheds light on how gold mining affects food availability, access, utilisation, and stability. In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, mining and agriculture areas overlap.

For instance, in Ghana, which serves as the case study here, 57% of the country’s food comes from the forest agroecological zone, which also holds 61% of the country’s minerals. Both mining (especially small-scale) and agriculture heavily rely on water and human resources. Despite the significant socio-economic impact of mining, its environmental challenges severely affect sustainable development and the wellbeing of people living near mining sites, as well as those further away, exacerbating inequalities and exposing flaws in existing policies and natural resource management. This talk will present findings from comprehensive fieldwork aimed at understanding these interconnected issues surrounding the environment and human wellbeing.

Dr. Jacob Obodai has a broad interest in challenges at the intersections of development and environment at multiple scales. He enjoys conducting multi-and interdisciplinary research and using quantitative, qualitative, and Remote Sensing/GIS methodologies to provide practical solutions. His research focuses broadly on food security, natural resource governance, the dynamics of land use and land cover changes, and environmental management. Jacob currently works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Edge Hill University and is part of the Centre for Social Responsibility. He is engaged in an exciting interdisciplinary research project examining how adaptive capacity impacts democratic performance. This project is a joint effort with researchers from the University of Central Florida (USA), Concordia University (Canada), and Warsaw University (Poland).