Infrastructure development in the Congo Basin is gathering pace and all of the countries have embarked on economic growth plans that will involve the development of major transport and energy projects. Numerous long-mooted projects are already underway or in the serious planning phase, and with this has come growing concerns about environmental and human impacts.
Poorly planned infrastructure poses a double risk: accelerating deforestation while offering little in terms of developmental benefit. To avoid and mitigate these costs, there must be greater transparency in the development of these projects, embedding them in participatory land-use planning processes and a strengthening of local tenure and other rights of local populations.
What we're doing
Our research on infrastructure development and logging roads prompted a major UN study that is challenging long-held assumptions about deforestation and how to tackle it.
Together with our partners, we have campaigned to stop destructive infrastructure projects such as planned hydroelectric dams in Gabon’s Ivindo National Park and on the Ene River in Peru, protecting tens of thousands of hectares of forest.
Our campaign on the Cuvette Centrale peatlands aims to protect one of the world’s largest carbon syncs from fossil fuel and associated infrastructure development, among other threats.