Protecting the environment during and after resource extraction
Natural resources extraction inevitably imposes environmental injuries including diversion of scarce water away from pressing local needs, disruption of fragile ecosystems, and longer-range and often irreparable harm. These fall most forcefully on the local populations at or near the extraction sites but also beyond.
Effective regulation is critical to balance immediate needs with longer-term considerations. Unfortunately, much extraction takes place in countries with weak institutions and poor success rates in addressing any of their environmental challenges and often rampant corruption undercutting fair application of rules. Improving practices requires a long and sustained commitment for everyone involved—the countries and industry.