Resources Matter

Ending Poverty While Protecting Nature


Almost everything that is essential to modern society — transport and power systems, buildings, machinery, and medical devices — depends upon metals, minerals, and stone as well as oil and natural gas which provide the energy for households and businesses and transport as well as widely-used materials such as plastics. The global economy has come to increasingly rely on mining and oil and gas extraction in the developing world. 

Poorer nations see extractive industries as vital to their prospects for greater prosperity but these industries are highly controversial not least in their impact on nature and the climate. This book explores the opportunities as well as the dilemmas. 

The book also discusses how the extractive industries can be leveraged to generate larger and more beneficial impacts in poorer economies and improve livelihoods at local and national levels. A central argument is that the so-called ‘resource curse’ – the potentially negative effect of resource booms on economies and societies – is not inevitable, as is often said to be the case. 

Rather, much can be done through policy, coordinated government action in partnership with the private sector, and judicious investments to improve the prospects for resource wealth to make a positive contribution to escaping underdevelopment and poverty. Companies in the extractives industry also have a key role in working with governments to achieve these goals.