Protecting biodiversity

Published 11 June 2012

Quarrying limestone for cement can result in global extinctions of little-known biodiversity if appropriate surveys are not undertaken prior to the quarry opening and if impact avoidance, mitigation and offset measures are not put in place as part of the quarry’s environmental management plan. Tony Whitten, Fauna & Flora International, UK, considers the issues at stake.

Karst limestone creates some of the most beautiful and memorable landscapes in the world. Credit: Zhao Wenqing


Some of the world’s most beautiful and memorable landscapes are in limestone areas in which water erosion has created steep slopes, ‘pavements’, fissures, sinkholes, underground streams and caverns. Limestone can provide an important haven for biodiversity because its topography makes it relatively inaccessible and unsuitable for conversion to agricultural uses.

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