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Mining and Critical Ecosystems

Mapping the Risks

First-ever study to use computer-generated maps to identify environmentally or socially vulnerable areas to mining. It addresses the underlying questions that form the basis of the World Bank's controversial and on-going Extractive Industries Review.

Executive Summary

Mining and Critical Ecosystems: Mapping the risks is the culmination of a 2-year research effort aimed at identifying environmentally and socially vulnerable areas at risk from mining. The report aims to provide a methodology that companies, governments, and civil society groups can use to develop a set of standards for environmentally responsible mining, or the identification of areas that should be placed off limits from mineral development -- so-called "no go" zones. At the global level our analysis identifies indicator categories that should be taken into account when considering areas that may be too sensitive for mining. However, global level indicators are not sufficiently detailed to allow decision makers to identify potential risks and vulnerable areas at the site-specific level. For this reason, we engaged partners in two countries -- Papua New Guinea and the Philippines -- who worked with our project team to develop the global methodology and adapt it to the realities in their respective countries. Both case studies are intended to demonstrate how the global framework can be applied at a national level, using nationally available datasets for each country.

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