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Extractive industries in forest landscapes: options for synergy with REDD+ and development of standards in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Hund, Kirsten; Schure, J.M.; Goes, Arend van der

Resúmen

With high global demand, economically valuable mineral resources in remote often forested areas, such as the Congo Basin, are more likely to become developed. New infrastructure corridors, associated with mineral exploitation and related hydropower needs, facilitate access to previously inaccessible tropical forest areas and accelerate development and forest clearing in developing regions. Deforestation and degradation of tropical forests contribute an estimated 14 to 21 percent of global emissions (ISU, 2015). Mitigation of impacts on forests and reduction of related emissions is the main aim of policies on Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation and improving carbon stocks (REDD +). Even though most mineral rich countries that are presently developing their REDD+ strategies have identified the extractive sector as a driver of deforestation, it is often not considered in related policies and actions. This paper explores options for extractives industries to contribute to REDD+ objectives, using insights gained from developing REDD+ Standards for extractives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As mining is more prevalent in forest areas than oil and gas extraction, this paper focuses mainly on mining with the understanding that the underlying principles apply to the entire on-shore extractives industries. The objective of the paper is to provide insights into existing options for involving the mining sector in achieving REDD+ objectives, by mitigating emissions related to deforestation and forest degradation and promoting development for populations in forest-rich developing countries. It details the case of developing REDD+ Standards for the extractive sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (World Bank, 2016) and how, and under what conditions, these Standards benefit stakeholders. The study was guided by the following questions: 1. What options exist for oil, gas and mineral development projects to achieve REDD+ objectives? 2. Why were REDD+ Standards for extractive industries proposed in DRC and how were these developed? 3. How can the REDD+ Standards for extractive industries benefit different stakeholders and what are the conditions for implementation and positive outcomes?