Infrastructure projects in remote areas are often magnets for people seeking employment and other economic opportunities. When governance conditions are weak, people who move to such areas in search of work, or remain after temporary jobs conclude, may clear forests to build settlements, secure land, graze livestock or plant crops and gardens.
Those financing, building or regulating infrastructure should mitigate social and environmental impacts, and build forest safeguards into all infrastructure projects.
The starting point is upfront impact assessment. An assessment can cover an individual project, the cumulative impact of a series of projects, or comprise a strategic review of proposed development plans or policies at macro-scale. Potential negative impacts can be addressed through a sequence of measures known as the “mitigation hierarchy”. Many of these measures will also help investors and project managers to mitigate risks, and to some degree are already embedded in best practice safeguards and guidelines.
The important thing to do is to create a platform for dialogue where people with different interests come together and discuss what could be the common interest that will benefit both economic and social development and forest protection
Promote the use of recyclable materials; promote the replacement of trees cut down to make way for development.