A recent article in the South China Morning Post highlights how environmental groups have started targeting some Chinese-backed projects in Africa in a bid to draw attention to their disastrous environmental and social impacts.
Elizabeth Losos, a senior fellow at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute, is quoted explaining that many of these harmful China-funded projects could have been avoided if early consultation and planning procedures had been put in place.
While Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative brings new investment and jobs to the continent, environmentalists are increasingly joining calls from long-suffering local communities, accusing developers of destroying ecosystems in their pursuit of commodities like oil, metals, and timber. The article highlights several significant projects which reportedly risk polluting drinking water, damaging farmers’ livelihoods, or threatening natural treasures.
The report notes that while some Chinese commercial actors have actively sought to evade environmental requirements, often investors simply take advantage of weak local governance systems. In response, Chinese regulators are reportedly starting to apply “green” concepts and a framework for classifying Belt and Road Initiative projects, based on their environmental impact.
The full article is available here.