The environment is at risk as a result of China’s global development projects.


The environment is at risk as a result of China’s global development projects.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a multibillion-dollar worldwide endeavor to better connect China to the rest of the globe through trade and infrastructure, is reshaping the future of economic development.

China is supplying nearly 100 countries with finance for roads, trains, power plants, ports, and other infrastructure projects through this effort.

This massive undertaking has the potential to provide widespread economic growth for the countries involved as well as the global economy. According to the World Bank, Belt and Road finance could boost recipient nations’ gross domestic product by up to 3.4 percent.

However, development frequently promotes human movement and commercial activity into new areas, which can promote deforestation, illegal wildlife trafficking, and invasive species expansion. Infringing on Indigenous territories has also created violence in the past. These projects were frequently approved without the knowledge or agreement of indigenous tribes in the area.

Our team of development economists and conservation biologists mapped the threats that Chinese overseas development finance projects pose to Indigenous territories, threatened species, protected areas, and prospective important habitats for global biodiversity conservation in a recently published paper. More than 60% of China’s development projects endanger wildlife or indigenous groups, according to our findings.

Projects with a wide range of hazards

The China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China together fund 594 development projects, according to our research. Between 2008 and 2019, we established a database to track the features and locations of projects financed by these two “policy banks.” During that time, the banks contributed $462 billion in development finance to 93 countries, virtually equaling the amount committed by the World Bank, the traditional worldwide leader in development finance.

Almost half of the initiatives supported by these two banks are in areas that could be considered important habitats. According to the International Finance Corp., a World Bank entity that supports private investment in developing nations, these are sites that may be critical for conservation and require specific protection measures.

Nearly one-third of the projects overlap with lands owned or administered by Indigenous peoples, and nearly one-fourth overlaps with existing protected areas. We estimate that China’s development finance portfolio may have a negative impact on up to 24% of the world’s threatened amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles.

South America, Central America, and Africa pose the highest dangers. Article Summary from Nokia News


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