Responsible extractive industries in the Green Heart of Africa

Balancing development needs and conservation of biodiversity

Striking a balance between conserving natural resources and development needs is the main challenge for WWF in the Green Heart of Africa. Political agendas in the region give higher priority to large infrastructure and extractive industries development than to conservation.

WWF recognizes the importance of alleviating poverty and creating employment and sustainable livelihoods in all of the landscapes in which it is present.

Therefore, WWF does not oppose mining as long as it proceeds in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

Mining should not compromise the rights of communities and the needs of future generations for clean air, water, land, and viable populations of plant and animal species.

Maximizing positive impacts

WWF aims at implementing a strategy that recognizes the need for sustainable economic development – and therefore the extraction of minerals – but in a way which maximizes positive impacts on communities and minimizes negative social and environmental impacts.

Focusing on mining

Ideally, the role of WWF in Central Africa would be to look at the impacts of all industrial developments in the region. However, as the development of new mining sites is one of the biggest threats to deforestation and forest degradation in the Congo Basin at the moment, the primary focus is on the mining industry and the associated expansion of large infrastructure.

This does not mean WWF will remain passive if activities ran by the oil and gas industry directly threaten biodiversity in the Congo Basin. To the contrary, in such a situation, WWF would take the appropriate action.
 / ©: WWF
WWF does not oppose mining as long as it proceeds in an environmentally and socially responsible way.


WWF’s work on extractive industries will be articulated around six priority strategies:
1. Promote coherent and integrated land use planning and resource governance
2. Stop oil and mineral extraction in protected areas and minimize impacts on key landscapes and species
3. Minimize negative social and environmental impacts by mining companies through improved impact assessments
4. Promote responsible artisanal mining
5. Promote and facilitate a regional mining strategy for the Congo Basin
6. Promote sustainability of Chinese investments in the oil and mining industries

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