Natural resources - minerals
In more than hundred countries around the world, miners dig minerals and metals out of the ground, satisfying a slowly but continuously increasing demand from industrial production, agriculture, construction, high-tech sectors, and merchandise producers. In contrast to the other natural resources presented here, minerals are a finite resource, and the resource and their profits needs to be managed carefully to ensure sustained livelihoods after t...
12 May 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Government revenues from diamond exports in Sierra Leone
The government of Sierra Leone saw a total of USD 5.2 million (2004) in revenues from diamond related activities. This comes in the form of mining, dealer and export license fees and from export taxes. To feed some of the revenues back to poor communities, the Diamond Areas Community Development Fund (DACDF) has been set up, with an annual commitment of 25% of revenue from export taxes. The intention is that this money will be dedicated to commun...
12 May 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
The bushmeat chain reaction
As many of the parks and surrounding forests have lost 50–80% of their wildlife species, typically antelopes, zebras and other ungulates, the poachers are increasingly targeting primates including gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees. A significant demand comes from bushmeat hunters to supply militias, refugee camps and mining and logging camps, where much of the work- force is forced. Thirty-four million people living in the forests of Central Afri...
01 Mar 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in Latin America and the Caribbean
In addition to carbon dioxide (CO2), other greenhouse gasses that play an important role in the region are methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). These gasses are produced primarily in the sectors of waste management, mining, industrial processes, and in the production and distribution of natural gas, petroleum and agricultural products. Among the region’s countries, Brazil is the highest emitter of both methane and nitrous oxide. Other countries...
22 Nov 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Industrial development in the Arctic
Industrial development in the Arctic. The Arctic has been opened up for increased exploration of petroleum, gas and mining activities. The Barents Sea, the Mackenzie Valley in Canada and the Alaskan North Slope, are the areas of chief interest at the moment. Please note that the shipping routes in Northern Canada are not open today for commercial shipping because of sea ice. The Northern Sea Route north of Russia is partly open today.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Economy of the Arctic, by sector
The largest economies in the Arctic belong to Alaska (US) and Russia, mainly because of mining and petroleum activity. Regions that are still heavily dominated by more traditional subsistence activities, such as hunting and fishing, in Greenland and in Northern Canada, have much lower gross products. Similarly, reindeer herding in Russia and Scandinavia is of substantial importance to the livelihoods and lifestyles of reindeer herders like the Sa...
17 May 2005 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Environmental threats in the Barents Region
The Barents region is in the Arctic and covers the area of Western Russia and the northern areas of Finland, Sweden and Norway. This map indicates the political boundaries and economic areas in the region. More importantly it shows where environmental dangers are located and the level of grazing on pastoral lands. (Please note that the The Barents Euro-Arctic Council has expanded the membership since 1998)
04 Oct 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Nuclear activities in the Arctic over the last 50 years
Numerous nuclear explosions have taken place in the Arctic. One of the largest military nuclear testing facilities is on the island of Novaya Zemlya, where from 1955 through to 1990 the Soviet Union detonated 88 atmospheric, 29 underground, and 3 underwater nuclear devices. Dozens of civilian 'peaceful nuclear explosions' have also occured in the Russian Arctic, where nuclear bombs were used into the late 1980's for seismic studies, mining, and i...
21 Mar 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Current and future threats from illegal logging and mining in national parks in Indonesia
The management and enforcement of the protection regime in Indonesia is insufficient, and illegal activities - such as logging and mining, is rampant. The RAPPAM methodology, developed by WWF, has been used to assess the relative pressures and threats using questionnaires and workshops. Borneo and Sumatra are home to the Orangutan, and the protected areas represent vital habitat for the survival of the species.
01 Nov 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Benefits of marine and coastal ecosystems to human wellbeing
Besides the well-known economic value of fisheries, there are several other activities generating significant revenues in coastal and marine areas. Tourism has become one of the world’s fastest growing industries, providing a significant proportion of the GDPs of many developing countries. Small island states are particularly reliant on coastal and marine tourism. In the Caribbean, for example, the industry accounts for a quarter of the total eco...
26 Jan 2009 - by Phillippe Rekacewicz, February 2006
The mining industry is a potential threat to Sumatran orangutan habitat in a number of important areas, both directly by its own activities and indirectly by road access. It includes a major gold mine near the town of Batang and iron ore mining in the Alas valley, and planned development of coal mining in the hill forests inland of the Tripa swamps.
13 Sep 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal