Horizon scan of the Belt and Road Initiative

Alice C. Hughes, Alex M. Lechner, Alexander Chitov, Alexander Horstmann, Amy Hinsley, Angela Tritto, Anthony Chariton, Binbin V. Li, Delfin Ganapin, Eugene Simonov, Katherine Morton, Kemel Toktomushev, Marc Foggin, May Tan-Mullins, Michael C. Orr, Richard Griffiths, Richard Nash, Scott Perkin, Raphaël Glémet, Minsun KimDouglas W. Yu

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The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) represents the largest infrastructure and development project in human history, and presents risks and opportunities for ecosystems, economies, and communities. Some risks (habitat fragmentation, roadkill) are obvious, however, many of the BRI’s largest challenges for development and conservation are not obvious and require extensive consideration to identify. In this first BRI Horizon Scan, we identify 11 frontier issues that may have large environmental and social impacts but are not yet recognised. More generally, the BRI will increase China’s participation in international environmental governance. Thus, new cooperative modes of governance are needed to balance geopolitical, societal, and environmental interests. Upgrading and standardising global environmental standards is essential to safeguard ecological systems and human societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-593
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Ecology & Evolution
Issue number7
Early online date12 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • BRI
  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • China
  • freshwater
  • traditional Chinese medicine
  • conservation
  • environmental impact assessment
  • development
  • invasive species
  • international development
  • global change
  • infrastructure
  • impact assessment

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