Arcus Foundation Funded Report Finds Infrastructure Development Likely to be “Devastating” for Wildlife, Ecological Integrity
The Arcus Foundation and Cambridge University Press published a report that examines the interaction between conservation of apes and their habitats with infrastructure development, including ways to minimize and mitigate the impact of infrastructure expansion on biodiversity.
The report titled, ‘State of the Apes: Infrastructure Development and Ape Conservation,’ considers the impact of infrastructure development in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s emphasis on a balance across economic, social and environmental dimensions. Although SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) calls for sustainable, resilient infrastructure, the report observes that the majority of infrastructure projects are expected to take place in biodiversity-rich developing countries, threatening wildlife and habitats. Within this context, the report uses great apes and gibbons as indicator species (or proxies) to analyze the effects of infrastructure development on wildlife and ecosystems, and biodiversity and the environment in general.
The report finds that the environmental and social standards set by financing institutions for development projects, including new infrastructure projects, are insufficient to protect biodiversity, critical habitats and local communities. The report argues that many infrastructure projects aim to promote economic prosperity and alleviate poverty but often fail to achieve these aims...