Liberia emerged from civil war in 2003 as one of the poorest countries in the world, with an annual GDP per capita of US$135 and a level of unemployment estimated to be 86 percent. The Liberian economy has also been significantly affected by the Ebola epidemic. The Mining sector has the potential to become a significant engine for growth and broader-based development. Yet, in can also be a threat to the last extensive forest areas in West Africa.
The World Bank has published a report which explores the feasibility of implementing a national biodiversity offset scheme in Liberia to help minimize adverse impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services resulting from mining. This scheme could overcome some of the limitations of project-specific biodiversity offsets and at the same time provide an opportunity for the private sector to contribute to an underfunded protected areas network.
Sally Johnson, Consultant, and lead author of the report, and Kirsten Hund, Senior Mining Specialist at the World Bank will discuss the advantages and risks for both conservation and economic development of a national biodiversity offsets scheme for Liberia. What works, what hasn't worked, what are the risks, and could national biodiversity offset mechanisms be an opportunity for the World Bank to promote inclusive green growth in hydrocarbon and mineral dependent economies?