Guinea’s bauxite-aluminum industry is undergoing significant expansion of investment, concession agreements, and in-country mining and refining operations. In 2018, UNDP-Guinea and Columbia University developed a framework that would evaluate this development against metrics for social and environmental sustainability, such as energy access and diversification, water quality, land use, biodiversity restoration, waste management, and community engagement. Current environmental impacts measured in GHGs, a metric both economic and environmental, were compared to potential impacts anticipated as a consequence of expansion. These anticipated impacts include enormous increases in countrywide GHG emissions and significant regional shortfalls in access to electrical energy. Case studies from the international bauxite-aluminum industry were then used to illustrate best practices for climate mitigation and adaptation and to describe opportunities for regional collaboration on shared-use energy and infrastructure development (e.g., hydropower used across West Africa, rail transportation) while achieving measurable benefits to communities, NGOs, regulators, and mining companies.
Part of the book: Regional Development in Africa