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Journal Article

Threat of mining to African great apes


Junker,  Jessica
External Organizations;

Quoss,  Luise
External Organizations;

Valdez,  Jose
External Organizations;

Arandjelovic,  Mimi
External Organizations;

Barrie,  Abdulai
External Organizations;

Campbell,  Geneviève
External Organizations;


Heinicke,  Stefanie
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Humle,  Tatyana
External Organizations;

Kouakou,  Célestin Y.
External Organizations;

Kühl,  Hjalmar S.
External Organizations;

Ordaz-Németh,  Isabel
External Organizations;

Pereira,  Henrique M.
External Organizations;

Rainer,  Helga
External Organizations;

Refisch,  Johannes
External Organizations;

Sonter,  Laura
External Organizations;

Sop,  Tenekwetche
External Organizations;

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Junker, J., Quoss, L., Valdez, J., Arandjelovic, M., Barrie, A., Campbell, G., Heinicke, S., Humle, T., Kouakou, C. Y., Kühl, H. S., Ordaz-Németh, I., Pereira, H. M., Rainer, H., Refisch, J., Sonter, L., Sop, T. (2024): Threat of mining to African great apes. - Science Advances, 10, 14, eadl0335.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_29759
The rapid growth of clean energy technologies is driving a rising demand for critical minerals. In 2022 at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), seven major economies formed an alliance to enhance the sustainability of mining these essential decarbonization minerals. However, there is a scarcity of studies assessing the threat of mining to global biodiversity. By integrating a global mining dataset with great ape density distribution, we estimated the number of African great apes that spatially coincided with industrial mining projects. We show that up to one-third of Africa’s great ape population faces mining-related risks. In West Africa in particular, numerous mining areas overlap with fragmented ape habitats, often in high-density ape regions. For 97% of mining areas, no ape survey data are available, underscoring the importance of increased accessibility to environmental data within the mining sector to facilitate research into the complex interactions between mining, climate, biodiversity, and sustainability.