Natural Resources Safeguards and Security in the Indo-Pacific Region

Speeches Shim

As part of the United States’ vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, USAID prioritizes the implementation of environmental and social safeguards that help protect natural resources. Threatening this vision, malign actors in the region are pursuing unsustainable infrastructure projects that erode the natural resources upon which many countries depend for their long-term prosperity. Irresponsible extraction of natural resources, including their illegal trade, threatens livelihoods, undermines accountable governance and inclusive economic growth, and can lead to regional instability and conflict.

The Indo-Pacific region is home to some of the world’s most abundant biodiversity and natural resources like energy, water, land, and air. Malign actors often take advantage of the region’s plentiful natural resources, benefiting themselves at the expense of others through corruption and criminal activity associated with fishing, forestry, and wildlife. The region also suffers from the majority of the world’s natural disasters and is frequently the origin of infectious diseases. Without strong safeguards and effective conservation measures, we lose natural buffers that help mitigate the impacts of natural disasters, we bear witness to the irreversible destruction of biodiversity, and we risk increased disease outbreaks and pandemics linked to animal-borne diseases like SARS, H1N1, and COVID-19.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 10:30am