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TESS Our Research Global impacts of infrastructure

Reducing the global impacts of rapid infrastructure expansion

We are living in the most explosive era of infrastructure expansion in human history

Projections suggest that by 2050 there will be 25 million kilometres of new paved roads – enough to encircle the Earth more than 600 times. In addition, some 3,700 major hydroelectric dams and hundreds of thousands of mining projects are in development worldwide. Roughly nine-tenths of these projects are occurring in developing nations, which sustain many of the planet’s most biologically diverse and environmentally important ecosystems.

In this Flagship project, we are focusing on:

  • The direct and indirect impacts of roads and other infrastructure on native species and ecosystems, especially in the tropics
  • Devising strategies to minimise the environmental impacts and maximise the socioeconomic benefits of new infrastructure
  • Conveying to policy makers and the general public the grave dangers posed to native ecosystems by poorly planned infrastructure projects

Research team