World Leaders' Dialogues
A Balancing Act: how the global appetite for mineral resources defines the fate of protected areas
November 18, 2014; 5:30 – 7:00pm
© Jim Thorsell
Dealing with controversial issues such as land-grabbing, ‘fracking,’ ‘no-go’ commitments and promises that companies can operate in the context of a ‘net positive impact,’ this second World Leaders’ Dialogue will consider the often hidden costs of our growing appetite for resources. Indeed, global consumption patterns directly impact protected areas, such as through mining for minerals and drilling for oil and gas, either within protected areas or sufficiently close to impact their integrity. China, Russia and Brazil are amongst the biggest players in the group of foreign multinationals engaged in the development of oil, gas and mineral resources operating in developing countries, alongside USA, Australia, Canada, UK and Japan. Meanwhile, the infrastructure development benefits offered by most of these countries alone, and by China in particular, far outweigh investments in the countries by the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, or other global financing instruments. Getting resource extraction, development assistance, and nature conservation right is a balancing act that could swing either way with dramatically different results.
The Dialogue will be followed by the screening of the Virunga movie.