The International Union for Conservation (IUCN), in cooperation with CEMBUREAU and other cement and aggregates industry associations, has published a new guide to encourage companies to responsibly manage biodiversity throughout their operations.
The guide, entitled “Integrated Biodiversity Management System” is the product of a four-year project by an independent panel of biodiversity and ecosystem experts in consultation with industry practitioners and other stakeholders. The panel developed a procedure for adopting a systematic approach to safeguarding biodiversity on cement and aggregate landholdings.
“Due to the nature of their operations, cement and aggregate companies can have important impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, and with that comes a responsibility to protect biodiversity on industry landholdings,” said Gerard Bos, Director of IUCN’s Global Business and Biodiversity Programme. “Through integrated biodiversity management, these companies have the opportunity to become biodiversity stewards both in and around their extraction sites.”
Commenting on its support for the IUCN guide, Koen Coppenholle, CEO of CEMBUREAU said: “Compatibility between quarrying activities and biodiversity is achievable through correct resource management during the quarrying phases in the cement sector. For example, a range of studies conducted in several European countries have demonstrated that correctly managed quarries are able to provide habitats to some protected species. In addition, proper planning and rehabilitation can positively contribute to biodiversity conservation."
The guide encourages companies to develop a policy with clear targets and provides an overview of the key steps, including risk and opportunity identification, management priorities, establishing data requirements, and maintaining and enhancing biodiversity according to the level of risk.