Laboratory for the Analysis of Places, Landscapes and European Countryside
Laplec - Service de Géographie rurale de l'Université de Liège

Projets de recherche - Research projects

2014 - 2018 : The role of indigenous knowledge on landslide risk perception among small-scale gold miners in Itogon, Benguet


The study looks at the significance of indigenous knowledge and socio-economic transformations on landslide risk perception and risk-taking behavior among the small-scale gold miners in Itogon, Benguet. It primarily identifies cognitive, cultural, and geographic factors that contribute to risk perception between and among indigenous and non-indigenous small-scale gold miners, particularly in the current mining system where mining companies are subcontracting small-scale miners to continue ore extraction and processing in abandoned mining sites. Given the existence of indigenous knowledge system among the Ibaloi and Kankanaey indigenous groups, it can be argued that indigenous people understand mining and landslide risks better than their migrant counterparts. However, other issues such as resource marginalization and dispossession, lack of livelihood alternatives, access to land, and social capital also affect local experiences and perception. The research combines quantitative, qualitative and spatial methods to establish individual-level factors that affect landslide perception, as influenced by place-based socio-economic processes. The study attempts to investigate whether or not indigenous and non-indigenous miners demonstrate different perception of landslide risk in terms of dread, voluntariness, controllability, and manageability. Consequently, choices of mining methods, location of dwelling units, and landslide management measures will be interpreted as indicators of risk-taking behaviors that may contribute to increased landslide risk and vulnerability.


Académie de Recherche et d’Enseignement supérieur (ARES) - CUD


Prof. Dr. Serge Schmitz, Laplec (ULg)
Prof. Dr. Aurélia Hubert-Ferrari, Géomorphologie et Géologie du Quaternaire (ULg)
Prof. Darlene J. Occena-Gutierrez (Université des Philippines)
PhDStudent Lou Angeli Ocampo, Laplec (ULg)


  • Ocampo Lou Angeli, Schmitz Serge, 2015, Making "Place" count in Risk perception studies, in Firmino, Ana (Ed.), 23rd Annual Colloquium on Sustainable Rural Systems: Smart Answers for a smiling future (Portugal), p.28-29.


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