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TNRC Publication

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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Pathways for targeting renewable resource corruption

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 is a political scientist and senior researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute and a principal adviser at the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre. He is responsible for U4's thematic work on corruption in natural resources and energy, and holds a PhD from SOAS, University of London, on political ecology of REDD+ in Indonesia.


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)