WWF's position on oil, gas and mining

Posted on 27 October 2012
Mining practices are still massively impacting the environment in Africa

Oil and gas, and other extractive industries, represent important development opportunities for the government and people of Madagascar and the Western Indian Ocean, as they do in East-Africa.  Major natural gas finds in the Mozambique channel are already changing the economic and investment dynamics in Mozambique and Tanzania.  In countries where poverty is a major driver of environmental degradation and loss, well-managed economic development could indirectly reduce other poverty-related pressures on the environment.

However, “well-managed” is not a given, as evident in numerous oil-rich countries where such oil and gas wealth has not generated sustainable an equitable development.  Further, any oil and gas development also presents very serious direct environmental risks.  Therefore the governments of the region have an obligation, in the interest of the long-term sustainable green development goals to which they all aspire, to use all of their means and all the support available to ensure that (a) extractive industry developments are undertaken with the best possible strategic environmental assessments aimed at long-term sustainable development, and (b) that the highest industry standards are in place to ensure net conservation and societal gains.

WWF is very active when it comes to extractive industries in Madagascar, but we have a clear position on the need to promote an energy transition away from fossil fuels. Our engagement with communities has been to help build their capacity to understand the risks and challenges that potential extractive industry developments present.

Please refer to WWF MWIOPO's factsheet about extractive industries to learn more about our efforts in Madagascar and the Western Indian Ocean.

WWF’s position

WWF is working to reduce the impacts of oil and gas exploration and development on natural habitats.

In order to avoid predicted escalating impacts of climate change, WWF promotes an energy transition away from fossil fuels - especially coal - to 100% renewable energy sources by 2050.

In the meantime, we are working to ensure that existing developments - as well as de-commissioning of facilities - do not impact the most sensitive natural habitats and biodiversity, and to minimize impacts on all other areas.

We are also working to ensure that any new exploration and developments meet the highest environmental standards and follow a precautionary approach.

And, we are working to ensure that oil and gas developments do not threaten the well-being of communities, particularly local communities and indigenous people.

Mining practices are still massively impacting the environment in Africa
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