Report: Assessing the potential threat of extractive industries to tropical intact forest landscapes | WWF
Report: Assessing the potential threat of extractive industries to tropical intact forest landscapes

Posted on 26 July 2018

An increasing global population and the resulting demand for commodities has made resource rich countries in Africa, South America and Asia hot prospects for industrial expansion. Extractive industries such as oil and gas, and mining, are growing at an increasing pace, and this industry boom is driving an unprecedented expansion of infrastructure (e.g. roads and railways) into sparsely populated regions. These developments are happening at a rapid pace and on a large scale, which is already impacting on land use in areas of ecological and socio-economic importance, such as large forested areas.
An increasing global population and demand for commodities has made resource rich countries in Africa, South America and Asia hot prospects for industrial expansion. Extractive industries such as oil, gas and mining, are growing at an increasing pace, and this industry boom is driving an unprecedented expansion of infrastructure (e.g. roads and railways) into sparsely populated regions. These developments are happening rapidly and on a large scale, and are already impacting on land use in areas of ecological and socio-economic importance, such as large forested areas.

This report, produced by WWF in collaboration with Wildlife Conservation Society, explores the potential threat posed by extractive development to IFLs in the three major tropical forest regions :
1) Amazon
2) Central Africa
3) Asia-Pacific

The analysis uses one of the most recent global spatial datasets on extractive concessions (mining, oil and gas accessed in 2018), assessed against the extent of IFL 2016 data.  The results show that the extractive sector poses a substantial threat to tropical IFLs worldwide, with oil and gas contracts overlapping around 8% (408,000 km2) of these tropical IFLs, and a larger overlap of 11% (590,000 km2) for mining claims within the area assessed. 

The overall goal of this study is to build knowledge and highlight the extent and potential threat of future extractive development on IFL. The report includes some key recommendations to governments, private sector and financial institutions.