Economic development and improved livelihoods for people are clear priorities for countries globally. Infrastructure investment and expansion are projected to grow in the coming decades, bringing many people out of poverty. Global climate targets from COP26 in 2021 and the developing Global Biodiversity Framework around COP15 in 2022 inform national strategies. People and economies benefit from reduced climate risk and from the integrity of nature. Sustaining benefits from infrastructure development is more likely if climate and biodiversity outcomes are integrated into transport planning.
We discussed questions based on our COMBOprogram.org experience supporting public and private sectors and civil society to reconcile economic development with climate and biodiversity priorities.
The session asked the participants to discuss how mitigation policy and data can be used for infrastructure development. The discussion highlighted the importance of considering the drivers for biodiversity loss when planning road infrastructure. Additionally, two case studies were presented. The case study of Mozambique focused on how biodiversity conservation was addressed in economic development policies. The case study on Gabon showed how data on fauna and flora contributed to decision-making on road development and helped reduce the risks of deforestation and biodiversity loss.