Investors warned over risk exposure in backing extractives companies
Almost a third of all natural World Heritage Sites has the threat of oil, gas and mining exploration hanging over it, according to a new report.
The threat rises to 61% in Africa. Natural World Heritage Sites are places of outstanding natural value, such as the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania.
The new assessment - in a report called Safeguarding Outstanding Natural Value, produced by WWF, Aviva Investors and Investec Asset Management - puts the risk at a higher level than previously thought. The report also brings to light the risk to investors of involvement with extractives companies working, or intending to work, in or near these special places.
Covering less than 1% of the planet and containing outstanding natural value such as iconic landscapes and species, natural World Heritage Sites are in increasing danger of exploitation and irreparable damage, which in turn damages the communities who depend on these amazing places for their livelihoods. Furthermore, natural World Heritage Sites are home to some of the rarest animals on Earth.
The threat level relates to active operations by extractive companies, or intrusion that may come as a result of concessions for exploration of minerals or oil and gas overlapping these sites.
Investors are being warned in the report of their risk exposure if they back the companies involved, both in terms of financial risk and threats to their reputation.
To access the full report click here.
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