Video / Recorded Webinar
CEADIR Series: Assessing and Reducing the Environmental Effects of Rural Road Construction, Improvement, and Use in Developing Countries
The construction, improvement, and use of rural roads in developing countries may have substantial environmental impacts that can decrease with better design and siting decisions. On September 20, 2018, CEADIR hosted a discussion that summarized the findings of a literature review on the types and magnitudes of common environmental impacts and options for reducing these risks. It addressed the direct impacts of construction practices and increased vehicle traffic on roads. CEADIR presenters also discussed indirect effects of road construction and improvement, such as emissions caused by the clearing or degradation of nearby forests.
Road construction and improvement increase direct GHG emissions from equipment and vehicle use. However, direct emissions tend to be smaller than indirect emissions, which can be up to 10 times larger but are less commonly studied. This discussion also addressed the positive and negative social impacts of roads development, including increased opportunities for education and health care and increased disease transmission.
The report discussed during this event includes a framework for a qualitative assessment of deforestation and forest degradation impacts based on road project attributes. It discusses methods to quantify 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 direct and indirect impacts of greater accessibility.
Speakers at this event included:
- Dr. Gordon Smith (CEADIR Technical Lead for Sustainable Landscapes) gave 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 these.
- David Cooley (CEADIR Senior Analyst) discussed factors driving the GHG and environmental impacts from roads and the options for assessing and mitigating the risks of those impacts.
- Dr. Marcia Trump (CEADIR Chief of Party) moderated the webinar, facilitating a discussion of valuation methodologies, emissions reduction strategies, and social, economic, and environmental impacts of road construction.
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.
Download the presentation: https://ceadirseries.adobeconnect.com/sep2018_presentation/
Report link: https://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PA00T7WH.pdf