Horizon Scan of the Belt and Road Initiative

Hughes, Alice C., Lechner, Alex M., Chitov, Alexander , Horstmann, Alexander, Hinsley, Amy, Tritto, Angela, Chariton, Anthony, Li, Binbin V., Ganapin, Delfin, Simonov, Eugene, Morton, Katherine, Toktomushev, Kemel, Foggin, Marc, Tan-Mullins, May, Orr, Michael C., Griffiths, Richard, Nash, Richard, Perkin, Scott, Glémet, Raphaël, Kim, Minsun and Yu, Douglas W. (2020) Horizon Scan of the Belt and Road Initiative. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 35 (7). pp. 583-593. ISSN 0169-5347

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2020.02.005

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


We present 11 frontier issues identified in the first BRI Horizon Scan.
Issues were submitted by 14 researchers after consulting approximately 250 people in their networks, and scoring, based on impact and novelty, was conducted using the Delphi process.
Frontier issues include: threats to karst-based ecosystems via extraction for cement, BRI expansion to the Arctic, and the impacts of geopolitical rivalry on environmental and social standards and on building in conflict zones.
Other issues include: the potential spread of microbial species, the growth of TCM in BRI countries, and opportunities arising from more inclusive governance and partnership with local and indigenous communities.
We highlight the challenges faced in building the Belt and Road, and the compromises that may be made between sustainability and developmental goals.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) represents the largest infrastructure and development project in human history, and presents risks and opportunities for ecosystems, economies, and communities. Some risks (habitat fragmentation, roadkill) are obvious, however, many of the BRI’s largest challenges for development and conservation are not obvious and require extensive consideration to identify. In this first BRI Horizon Scan, we identify 11 frontier issues that may have large environmental and social impacts but are not yet recognised. More generally, the BRI will increase China’s participation in international environmental governance. Thus, new cooperative modes of governance are needed to balance geopolitical, societal, and environmental interests. Upgrading and standardising global environmental standards is essential to safeguard ecological systems and human societies.

Keywords:infrastructure, China, development, conservation, impact assessment, international development, global change, invasive species
Subjects:L Social studies > L700 Human and Social Geography
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
ID Code:41994
Deposited On:26 Aug 2020 09:59

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