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Balancing mining development and forest conservation in the Congo basin (English)

Economic growth provides countries with important development benefits, including reduced poverty and improved livelihoods. But some economic activity – particularly development and exploitation of natural resources can also bring adverse impacts if the trade-offs are not adequately considered and balanced against the environmental and social costs. In the Congo Basin, home to the world’s second largest tropical forest area, these trade-offs often concern impacts on forests, as well as the livelihoods of rural people who depend on them. In addition to globally important forest resources, the Congo Basin also contains rich mineral resources, including gold and iron. The drive to exploit these resources to finance further development could lead to negative environmental and social impacts, if implemented with incomplete consideration of the consequences. Increasing agricultural productivity is also seen as a means for addressing rural poverty, but will require balancing the demands of household subsistence and energy needs and large scale commercial agriculture and plantations. This report describes activities and results of a technical assistance activity, Balancing Mining and Conservation in Congo Basin with Strategic Land Use Planning , implemented jointly by the World Bank’s Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice and the Energy and Extractives Global Practice, with funding from the Program on Forests (PROFOR) and from the Mining Technical Assistance Project. The World Resources Institute (WRI) implemented the main technical activities under a competitively awarded contract. Recognizing time and budget constraints, the effort initially focused on a specific forested landscape with an immediate need to balance competing land uses. The Tri-National Dja-Odzala-Minkebe(TRIDOM) area was seen as a relevant case study to begin learning how forest and mineral extraction and associated infrastructure can be planned to optimize production while minimizing or preventing environmental and social costs. In early discussions, the Republic of Congo (ROC) was receptive to the technical assistance activity and a focus on one country was an opportunity to concentrate technical resources on a single national planning process, rules and institutions.




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Balancing mining development and forest conservation in the Congo basin (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.