Design Latin America's major energy, mining and transport infrastructure to have no net impact on natural capital.
As Latin America continues to grow, it will need new infrastructure. The challenge is to plan infrastructure development that is “smarter,” preserving and leveraging the region’s rich environment and natural systems.
The Council will engage businesses, governments and lending agencies to design Latin America’s energy, mining, and transportation infrastructure to avoid, or dramatically reduce its impact on natural capital.
The Big Idea: No Net Impact means that negative environmental impacts from infrastructure projects are first avoided or minimized, then quantified and included in the cost of project development through dedicated compensation funds. A No Net Impact vision favors projects with a higher ratio of economic return to environmental harm, and provides a rational framework for the public and private sectors to weigh development options, implement infrastructure projects, and monitor long-term impacts to improve the process.
By pursuing the strategies and actions listed below, the Council is increasing the momentum among key regional influencers and decision-makers to prioritize and adopt the no net impact goal – developing smart infrastructure that respects and co-exists with the region’s natural capital.
Disseminate best practices and build a dialogue among business, lenders and NGOs to discuss social, economic and environmental outputs, along with practical measurements of no-net-loss (as well as net-positive-impacts).
Promote clear rules of the game by advocating for mitigation hierarchy systems that effectively avoid, minimize and offset impacts, with long-term monitoring for accountability.
Test “portfolio planning” in key areas – like river basins and highway corridors – working with government and companies to take a more proactive and holistic approach to mitigating impacts on biodiversity and natural capital.
Get key lenders on board and advocate for a convergence of lending safeguards across the region.
Ana Cristina Barros
Smart Infrastructure Director LAR