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Pathways for targeting renewable resource corruption

A summary of evidence

This brief summarizes empirical evidence and learning from U4 research as part of the five-year, USAID-supported, Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) Project, whose focus is to help reduce the role corruption plays in enabling and exacerbating environmental and social harms. The first part describes the research; the second part summarizes key findings and implications for practice.

27 June 2023
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Main points

  • Using a political ecology approach, teams of researchers led by the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Center studied select conservation projects in Peru, Madagascar, and Vietnam. This country-based analysis was complemented with secondary data, including a systematic literature review of over 900 publications, reviews of official documentation, and environmental change data on deforestation.
  • This analysis addressed the fundamental research question, “What factors condition anti-corruption success and failure in renewable resource sectors?”
  • Five recommendations emerged for conservation practitioners and donors seeking to scale efforts to target natural resource corruption: (1) further strengthen corruption risk analysis and management approaches in conservation; (2) promote and facilitate donor coordination at the global, regional, and country levels on environmental corruption; (3) further engage with and support civil society and journalists working on environmental corruption; (4) safeguard young and Indigenous human rights defenders calling out environmental corruption; and (5) bolster data availability for transnational law enforcement on environmental corruption.

Cite this publication

Williams, A.; (2023) Pathways for targeting renewable resource corruption. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (TNRC Publication 2023:1)

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About the author

Aled Williams responsible for U4's thematic work on corruption in natural resources and energy.


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)