PGS Lecture Series 2021-06: Lou Angeli Ocampo on hazardscape in a mining district in Benguet

Hazardscape has been understood variously as the “physical susceptibility of a place and the vulnerability of human life” (Khan & Crozier 2009) and a “way of seeing that asserts power and as a socio-environmental space where the gaze of power is contested and struggled against to produce the lived reality of hazardous places” (Mustafa 2005). What undergirds hazardscape as transdisciplinary in the social sciences is the broadening of the concept of riskscapes that include perception and the personal, cultural and societal responses and experiences. 

For the 6th iteration of the PGS Lecture Series for 2021, the Philippine Geographical Society welcomes Dr Lou Angeli Ocampo who will deliver her presentation entitled Mining Hazardscape and Risk Perception. The talk happens on May 14, 2021 (Friday) at 6:00PM. Focusing on Itogon, Benguet, the presentation spotlights the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) – a rural livelihood activity for this Philippine mineral district. 

Dr Ocampo will highlight the creation of vulnerable conditionalities in the said locale where contradictory and poorly implemented policies complexify the issue of resource access and where local miners were merely seen as sources of labor. Decades of large-scale underground and open-pit mining created a hazardscape due to the presence unrehabilitated abandoned mines. Hazardscape production is compounded by the continued limited access to these mineral lands, as abandoned mine sites are still largely corporate-owned. The lack of legal recognition of ASGM forces small-scale gold miners to make a living by informally occupying abandoned mine sites, conducting clandestine operations, and engaging in unsafe mining practices. The presentation gives extra weight to miners’ perception of risk by drawing on their local knowledges and experiences.

Dr Ocampo is an assistant professor of the Department of Geography at the University of the Philippines-Diliman who specializes in political ecologies and rural geographies with a particular focus on risk perception, socio-natural hazards and disasters. Her research also touches on the link between indigenous knowledge and resource management. Dr Ocampo currently sits as coordinator for the social sciences for the Tri-College Philippine Studies Program. She is also part of the team for the Laboratory for the Analysis of Places, Landscapes and European Countryside (LAPLEC) at the Université de Liège. She is currently in the steering committee of the International Geographical Union-Commission on the Sustainability of Rural Systems (IGU-CSRS)

This talk is co-sponsored by the UP Department of Geography

To register for this talk, click this link:

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