The Ranobe protected area, which has among the highest endemism of plants and animals anywhere in Madagascar was being targeted by the Australian company World Titanium Resources (hereafter WTR) that aims to exploit several hundreds square kilometers of primary spiny forest. The sand mining project (for minerals) is expected to last up to 100 years, consuming approximately 30,000 liters of water per minute during the course of its operations. The project was about to be approved by local authorities and was first expected to start exploitation in 2014. There was a lot of pressure on the conservation community to reduce the size of the protected area to make way for more mining concessions. Aside from the impacts on biodiversity and to the intact state of the forest-marine ecosystem the mine would displace entire villages as it would consume the local populations’ only water source. In addition, vast areas of tombs would need to be relocated to make way for a new road set to cut through the heart of the protected forest. The relocation of tombs is taboo in southern Madagascar but local leaders had been seduced into breaking custom and trying to convince the majority of the rural population to go along with the mining companies plan without knowing or considering the long-term impacts. The exploitation permit was finally granted in 2016. Yet the contestation of the project by the locals have been constantly growing. The populations, mainly consisting of farming and fishing families have been showing and affirming their opposition to the project, together with the help of national NGOs . Overall the population and civil society organizations do not believe in the mining company’s promises: not in the job promises for locals nor in the possible restauration of the natural resources after the project ends because they are aware that the tropical climate and the rainfall would not make it possible . The villagers refuse to sell their lands, they are aware that without their lands they won’t be able to feed and support their families in the long-run, no matter how high the compensation is . In July 2018 several NGOs signed and published a common statement contesting the decisions taken by the national executive power; declaring of public utility the lands in the mining perimeter, enabling the acquisition of the parcels by the mining company though amicable settlement or expropriation, and considering of national interest the port and road infrastructures for the project . The NGOs also condemned the repressive measures taken against the MA.ZO.TO. Association, that brings support to the directly affected communities. At the same time, on July 27th, 2018, the local populations organized local demonstrations to express their fierce opposition to the project. The fishermen community of Vezo was particularly visible and loud at this march. Demonstrations happened again in August 2018. A petition was signed by 13 organizations against the Tolaria sands Project. The civil society recalls that the permit was granted during a political transition in the country, and so the power in place at the time was not supposed to be taking long-term decisions and for this very reason the permit should be cancelled. Through the case of Tolaria sands project, the civil society is rending more visible its claims for a revision of the Mining code of Madagascar, if not its total rewriting . By February 2019, the exploitation of the mine was expected to start by the end of that same year but still the populations continue to demonstrate and oppose the project . In April 2019 was organized another march, demanding the project to be cancelled. On May 2nd, 30 villagers from the communities of Benetse, Ampototse and Tsiafanokawere arrested under the accusations of sabotaging the company’s properties during the demonstration in April . The national NGOs CRAAD-OI and TANY denounced in a press release that by May 5thnine villagers were still imprisoned in an unknown location .