China’s Belt and Road Initiative- do we know what it is and what it is doing to our planet?

Ecological Trail
China’s Belt and Road, the 21st century Silk Road, is a colossal scheme comprising a ‘belt‘ of roads and railways and a maritime ‘road‘ of shipping lanes. This massive infrastructure development is supposed to involve 81 nations, two thirds of the global population and one third of the global economy. Good for trade? Good for business?  New Zealand has embraced the concept https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/105131647/chinas-belt-and-road-initiative-is-more-than-merely-infrastructure.

But should we? What are the potential consequences to our environment? Ascensao et al May 2018 discuss in  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325155394_Environmental_challenges_for_the_Belt_and_Road_Initiative . Bill Laurance describes it as the environmentally riskiest venture ever  http://alert-conservation.org/issues-research-highlights/2018/5/23/chinas-belt-road-is-environmentally-riskiest-venture-ever

This Wednesday, 9am in UC Biology we (Fouth Year Conservation) are debating the Belt and Road scheme- anyone welcome!

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