Dialogue between the mining sector and World Heritage sites in Africa

12 April 2013 | News story

A network of World Heritage Site managers and stakeholders in the extractive sector will gradually be put in place following the success of two training sessions organized by IUCN and PACO (Protected Areas Programme for Central and West Africa). Taking place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in June 2012 and Dakar, Senegal in January 2013, they addressed the co-existence of World Heritage Sites and extractive activity. Additional sessions are planned for 2013.

Extractive industries generate environmental damage linked to removal, processing and transport of substances and material. Such activity often leads to migration as people are attracted by the economic opportunities directly or indirectly and this in turn affects flora and fauna of a given region.

At the same time, extractive industries can also offer opportunities for protected areas and buffer zones. The sector is well organized, and has the means and reach to engage meaningfully in conservation goals once it understands the importance and relevance of doing so.

The training was tailored for institutions issuing permits. Each session brought together 25 participants, including ministers of mining and the environment, site managers, civil society, those conducting environmental impact assessments, and managers in mining companies. This enabled a comprehensive analysis of potential impacts, the strengths and weaknesses of resource planning, appropriate solutions for mitigating these impacts, as well as identification of opportunities to strengthen biodiversity conservation in and around the sites. Learn more about IUCN's advice on mining


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.