CEADIR Series: Assessing and Reducing the Environmental Effects of Rural Road Construction, Improvement, and Use in Developing Countries
Rural road construction, improvement, and use in developing countries can have substantial environmental impacts that can decrease with better design and siting decisions. This webinar summarizes the findings of a literature review on the types and magnitudes of common environmental impacts and options for reducing these risks. It will address the direct impacts of construction practices and increased vehicle traffic on roads. Road construction and improvement also creates indirect emissions by stimulating the clearing or degradation of neighboring forests. Deforestation is also correlated with the presence of roads in developing countries, particularly in the tropics.
Road construction and improvement increase direct GHG emissions from equipment and vehicle use, though direct emissions tend to be smaller than indirect emissions, which can be up to 10 times larger. However, most studies have only considered the direct effects of roads on deforestation. Roads can also have positive and negative social impacts, including increased transmission of diseases and increased opportunities for education and health care.
This report includes a framework for a qualitative assessment of deforestation and forest degradation impacts based on road project attributes. It discusses methods to quantify the GHG emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and also offers recommendations for reducing these impacts. One important approach is to establish or improve protected forest area conservation. Improved road network planning and use of rail transport can also reduce the direct and indirect impacts of greater accessibility.
Please join the CEADIR Discussion Series on September 20, 2018 for “Assessing and Reducing the Environmental Effects of Rural Road Construction, Improvement, and Use in Developing Countries.” This webinar-only event will include opportunities for participants to submit questions to the panelists. Advance registration is required.
- Gordon Smith (CEADIR Technical Lead for Sustainable Landscapes) will give a brief overview of issues addressed in CEADIR’s road analysis, including GHG emissions from construction, use, and operations; direct and indirect environmental impacts; and strategies for reducing them.
- David Cooley (CEADIR Senior Analyst) will discuss factors driving the GHG and environmental impacts from roads and the options for assessing and mitigating the risks of those impacts.
- Marcia Trump (CEADIR Chief of Party) will moderate and discuss links between CEADIR’s roads analysis and other CEADIR analyses.
About the CEADIR Series
This event is part of the USAID-funded Climate Economic Analysis for Development, Investment and Resilience (CEADIR) Activity discussion series, Navigating the Climate Economy: Investing for Growth and Resilience.
This series presents the perspectives of experts in economic analysis, planning, policies, strategies, financing, and programming for climate change mitigation and adaptation, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable landscapes. Previous webinars and presentations from this series can be found at https://www.climatelinks.org/project/ceadir-series-navigating-climate-ec...
This webinar provided an overview of a recent literature review conducted by CEADIR on the positive and negative impacts of rural roads in developing countries on deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. The review synthesized a wide body of existing knowledge on the factors contributing to positive and negative impacts of rural road construction, including an in-depth description of approaches to mitigating direct and indirect negative effects.
Presenters discussed the findings from the literature linking rural roads to deforestation, as well as options for assessing the risks of deforestation and methods to mitigate those risks. In addition to these risks, Gordon Smith, David Cooley, and Marcia Trump explored the role of road construction in creating access to new markets. The presentation emphasized smart road construction as a mechanism for mitigating environmental impacts through better planning.