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Conference: Industrial Resource Extraction and Infrastructure Development in Tropical Forests


In recent years, the increase in economic interests in oil, mining, and infrastructure concessions for roads and dams on tropical forested lands has been significant. Due to the global demands for oil and minerals, billions of dollars have been invested in improving access to remote areas as well as harnessing rivers for hydroelectricity, flood control, and drinking water reservoirs.  These activities can bring development, but can also endanger forests, the services they provide, and the livelihoods of the people that depend on them.

The plurality of perspectives and interests around these activities has motivated ELTI and PRORENA to host a conference designed to provide relevant actors a forum to learn about and share key issues surrounding industrial land uses in forested regions of the tropics.



Welcome remarks: Dr. Eldredge Bermingham / Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) 

Conference background and objectives: Javier Mateo-Vega / Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI)

Keynote speaker : Guillermo Castro / City of Knowledge Foundation (CDS

PANEL 1. Economic and Environmental Dimensions of Resource Extraction and Infrastructure Development

Oil wealth and macroeconomic policies: potential impacts on forests
Sven Wunder / Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Collaborating with oil companies: challenges and opportunities
Alfonso Alonso / Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

PANEL 2. Roads and Tropical Forests

Impactos de las carreteras y los claros lineales sobre los ecosistemas tropicales
William Laurance / James Cook University k

The impacts of paving the Inter-Oceanic Highway in the MAP region (Madre de Dios-Peru, Acre-Brazil, Pando-Bolivia) in the Southwestern Amazon
Elsa Mendoza / Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM)

Tools that allow the incorporation of social and environmental impacts into the evaluation of infrastructure projects  
Irene Burgues / Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF)

Closing remarks
Cecilia Del Cid-Liccardi / Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI)


Welcome and summary of the conference’s 1st day: Jefferson Hall / Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) 

PANEL 3. Mining Industry and Tropical Forests

Will the mining supercycle be unbroken? Mineral operations, communities, and environmental change in Latin America
Jeffrey Bury / UC Santa Cruz

Mining, territoriality, conflict, and development in the tropical Andes: Lessons from Peru
Vladimir Gil / Pontifical Catholic University of Peru & the Earth Institute, Columbia University

Mining in humid tropical landscapes examined using gold as a model
Robert Stallard / US Geological Survey and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)

International social & environmental standards in industrial mining: Expectations, rules, and realities
Cristina Villegas / Estelle Levin, Ltd. 

PANEL 4. Hidroelectric and Other Dams and Tropical Forests

Global perspectives on dams on tropical regions
Cecilia Tortajada / Third World Center for Water Management

Damming the tropics: Can dam standards and social and environmental safeguards protect rivers and sustainable livelihoods in tropical forests?
Jason Rainey / International Rivers

Design and operation of dams in tropical climates 
Rollin Hotchkiss / Brigham Young University

Implications of hydroelectric dams on people in Panama
Francisco Herrera / University of Panama

To be announced  
Silvano Vergara / National Environmental Authority (ANAM)

Closing Remarks
Cecilia Del Cid-Liccardi / Iniciativa de Liderazgo y Capacitación Ambiental (ELTI)