It is projected that 25 million lane-kilometers of new roads and over 300,000 kilometers of rail track will be built around the world by 2050; 90% of this construction is planned in developing countries. There is a multi-sectoral push to rapidly increase infrastructure development; much of it relying on funding from multilateral development banks. In sub-Saharan Africa, this raises questions regarding which financial institutions are active, where investments are going, and what policies exist to protect ecological connectivity and other wildlife conservation values. With billions of dollars in investments poised to transform the surface of the continent, governments, transport planners, and conservationists have the opportunity to shape financial institution investment strategies that avoid ecosystem fragmentation, disruption of wildlife movement, and reduce human and wildlife mortality due to transport collisions.
In Africa, over a half dozen multilateral development banks are investing in linear transportation infrastructure. The resulting projects, while meeting social needs, might cause significant harm to landscapes and biodiversity. Therefore, it is critical to get the scale of infrastructure development right and employ best-practices to mitigate the impacts on humans and nature.
This poster presentation will summarize current levels of investment by multilateral development banks in infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa. It will highlight the policies and guidelines in place to proactively manage potential adverse impacts of linear infrastructure development on biodiversity. We review the types of policies and the strength of policy enforcement as delineated in each bank's working documents, when available, and highlight specific examples of best practices and effective enforcement of policies in existing infrastructure projects.