Originally posted at ICRAF’s Agroforestry World Blog
The scale of mining activities today is greater than ever but so are its environmental and social impacts. Over the past few decades mining has contributed to millions of hectares of land degradation worldwide. Open-pit mining transforms productive landscapes into ruined wastelands with disastrous consequences for biodiversity, climate, water and soil resources and the livelihoods and health of local people. Yet this is a solvable problem.
We have developed and tested a complete set of planning tools and restoration technologies which can return mining sites to full ecological functioning and productivity. These tools include next-generation technologies for seedling nurseries, genebank resources for climate-smart agroforestry species selection, investment decision analysis and institutional arrangements for restoration and eco-friendly income generation.
We therefore propose the establishment of a global centre of excellence for mining restoration. The centre will implement restoration projects in selected developing countries and work with a range of stakeholders to develop policies and practices on the ground. This could kick-start restoration around the world not only of mining sites but wherever human activities have damaged our planet.
Watch the video below, which forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.