sharing in governance of extractive industries

New Resources Policy Article: Extractive industries in forest landscapes: options for synergy with REDD+

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

Journal: Resources Policy
authors:  Kirsten Hund, Jolien Schure, Arend van der Goes
Final version published online: 28-Sep-2017
Full bibliographic details: Resources Policy 54C (2017) pp. 97-108
link to full article

Mining and associated infrastructure development are drivers of deforestation, but analyses and tools on how extractive industries can be part of strategies to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) lag behind. This paper presents findings from both literature review and practical development of standards regarding REDD+ and mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Main results are:

(1) Options exist for interventions involving the extractive industries to achieve REDD+ objectives during exploration, operation and closure phases that can address both direct and indirect deforestation;

(2) Development of REDD+ Standards in DRC responded to a governance void regarding extractive industries and deforestation and forest degradation. The draft Standards are based on international best practices and norms on biodiversity conservation and forest management combined with national priorities and commitments on REDD+ and climate change. The DRC draft Standards include objectives on zero net deforestation and integration of REDD+ objectives within companies’ management systems;

(3) Potential benefits of the Standards include a standardized approach and guidance to companies, an integrated system for the government to guide the sector along green economy objectives, and opportunities for ongoing consultation, grievance resolution, risk reduction and planning with other land users.

The development of Standards in DRC as part of wider governance reforms shows that the mining sector can take an active role in contributing to preserving national forest cover and mitigating emissions related to deforestation and forest degradation. Future implementation will build upon lessons from pilots, feedback from extractive industry and other stakeholders, and the subsequent process of formalization. Lessons drawn from the review and the Standards under development for extractive industries can serve other mineral and forest rich countries that are presently developing their REDD+ strategies and nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

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