Best practices examples and guidance
Within the European Union, the issue of biodiversity and non-energy extractive industry has long been a focus of attention by governments and NGOs. In fact, many on-going global initiatives were started by European NGOs or focused initially on European-headquartered companies. This is partly a reflection of relatively high-levels of awareness and concern about biodiversity loss among European citizens (leading to increased action by policy-makers), partly due to the capacity of European environmental NGOs, and partly due to the dominance of many European-based firms in the global production and trade in extractive commodities.
B@B Platform publications
Case studies from B@B Participants:
Major initiatives in the extractive industry sector include:
- International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), and their Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity
- Responsible Jewellery Council
- Good Practice Mining – Sustainable development in the mining and metals sector
- The Energy and Biodiversity Initiative (EBI)
- International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA)
- European Aggregates Association (UEPG)
- European Commission Guidance on Development of Non-Energy Extractive Activities in Accordance with the Natura 2000 Provisions
- Business and Biodiversity Offset Program (B&BOP)
- Ecosystem Services Review (WBCSD, WRI)
- Ecosystem Valuation Initiative (WBCSD, WRI, IUCN)
- Global Reporting Initiative: Mining and Metals Sector Supplement
- Global Reporting Initiative: Oil & Gas Sector Supplement
- IFC Best Practices and Reporting Guidelines for Exploration and Mining Companies
- IFC Performance Standard 6: Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management
Rio Tinto’s commitment to ‘Net Positive Impact’ (NPI) on biodiversity was published in 2004. Since the policy was established, the company has undertaken a global review of mine sites to identify high-priority operations from a biodiversity perspective. They are developing tools to evaluate the biodiversity footprint of mines and the effectiveness of mitigating and compensatory actions, and are currently exploring mechanisms for independent validation of progress toward (or away from) NPI.
Holcim’s partnership with IUCN on biodiversity started in 2007. Since the partnership was established, the company has established an Independent Expert Panel, comprised of world-respected experts in the fields of biodiversity and anthropology, which provides recommendations on tools for embedding biodiversity conservation into its operations. Holcim is also actively involved in the WBCSD ecosystems focus area.
In order to systematically promote biodiversity at its mineral extraction sites, HeidelbergCement has implemented a Group guideline that defines standards for restoration and rehabilitation, and ensures that all measures of after-use at HeidelbergCement take into account the economic, ecological and social needs of the community. After a three-year research project with recognized scientists, HeidelbergCement also developed a set of 10 indicators to monitor biodiversity in active and depleted quarries.
Read more at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/biodiversity/business/assets/pdf/resources-center/HC_Guideline Biodiversity (Europe)-EN.pdf and http://ec.europa.eu/environment/biodiversity/business/assets/pdf/resources-center/Cement International - Sustainability indicators for integrated management of raw materials and nature conservation of Nr4-.pdf
Examples of best practices developed by HeidelbergCement:
- Hanson & RSPB wetland project (United Kingdom): http://ec.europa.eu/environment/biodiversity/business/assets/pdf/resources-center/PDF Biodiveristy BP UK - Hanson & RSPB wetland project.pdf
- Monitoring results in Durmersheim quarry (Germany): http://ec.europa.eu/environment/biodiversity/business/assets/pdf/resources-center/PDF Biodiversity BP Germany - Monitoring results in Durmersheim quarry.pdf
- Renaturation of Velilla de San Antonio quarry (Spain): http://ec.europa.eu/environment/biodiversity/business/assets/pdf/resources-center/PDF Biodiversity BP Spain - Renaturation of Velilla de San Antonio quarry.pdf
The Swedish Mining Association has developed guidance in English and Swedish on good environmental practices for mineral prospectors (mostly small and medium enterprises), but also for politicians and civil servants involved in permitting and monitoring of prospecting and mining activities in protected areas.
Quarry Department Scheme
A French Quarry Plan has to be prepared for each Department according to law (Loi 93-3, 4 January 1993). The aim of so-called Quarry Department Scheme (Schéma Departémental des Carrières) is to organise the access to aggregate resources (sand & gravel) taking into account all constraints and in particular those related to the protection of the environment. The plan provides mapping in which the deposits are classified according to main constraints and possibilities for exploitation. Three main classes are defined:
- Deposits that can not be exploited owing to severe constraints: natural reserves, protection areas for water collecting, etc.
- Deposits that can be exploited but are subject to less severe constraints: sensitive natural areas, Natura 2000, etc. Quarries may be allowed provided that adequate measures are taken in relation to the existing constraints.
- Deposits that have no particular constraints and can be exploited in accordance with existing regulations.
Austrian Minerals Resources Plan
The Austrian Minerals Resources Plan adopts an econometric approach to calculating need for all minerals, not just construction materials. It brings together geological resource information, with economic data on imports and price, rates of production, imports and the possibility of substitution. This is used to calculate the need for a particular mineral, and then provision is made in land use planning policy, paying particular to the protection of important environmental areas (eg Natura 200 sites).
Raw Material Policy of the Slovak Republic
The Raw Material Policy of the Slovak Republic (Government resolution No. 722 of 14th July, 2004) identifies the following objectives:
- Long-term objective: sustainable raw materials’ use within the European market,
- Medium-term objectives: minimization of raw material excavation in protected areas. Conflicts analysis by re-evaluation of raw material resources within protected areas. Setting out the limits of surface excavations: its application on territorial planning in order to meet regional needs and a long-term use of resources.
Measures include the evaluation of raw material potential in protected areas (national parks, protected landscape areas, special protected areas, cultural heritage sites) as the basis for promoting optimal use of resources and limiting negative impacts to the environment within the decision making process.
CEMBUREAU, the European cement association: A collection of case studies from the European cement industry demonstrating biodiversity and rehabilitation projects.