The conservation of biodiversity, and other elements of natural capital, is a global issue requiring collaborative solutions at scale. At the same time, action at a local scale is equally important.
Member companies of the CSI recognise that healthy ecosystems provide a range of resources and services that are essential to human wellbeing and businesses, including food, materials, water, medicines, and fresh water. In addition, companies that demonstrate responsible business behaviour by minimising their ecological footprint and ensuring the welfare of the communities and environments in their areas of operation automatically have a competitive edge: they are more likely to avoid operational risks, to attract investors, to gain public and consumer support, and to retain high value employees, for example. These companies are also more likely to gain access to resources through the permitting process. Careful management of biodiversity impacts at sites is therefore a fundamental requirement for the sustainable operation of the cement sector.
With that understanding, member companies of the CSI delivered a Biodiveristy Management Plan (BMP) Guidance in 2014, intending as a practical resource for use at the site level when companies are at the stage of developing their biodiversity management plans. The objective of the document is to provide step-wise guidance by presenting the key biodiversity issues, explaining the connection between operations and healthy ecosystems, outlining management steps, and then linking to reference documents, data, tools and related guidance so that companies can progressively implement biodiversity into their management through the development of an appropriately focused management plan.
Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) Guidance
The BMP Guidance applies primarily to quarries, but the principles can be applied to any mining site. The primary audience for this document is therefore environmental officers and operations managers, because a basic understanding of natural resources provides a good foundation for interpreting and acting on the information in the guidance. The secondary audience is quarry managers, with whom responsibility for decision-making on quarry operations lies and whose role it is to ensure that biodiversity is sufficiently incorporated into extraction and rehabilitation planning. Throughout the BMP Guidance, questions are posed to help the reader apply the recommendations directly to his or her management scenario or context. Where relevant, decision trees, checklists, case studies and templates are provided. The guidance document was developed following a process of consultation and engagement with a range of experts, both amongst CSI membership and with external stakedholers including, Birdlife International, European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Reserva da Biosfera da Mata Atlântica (RMBA), European Aggregates Association (UEPG) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).