Mining and biodiversity living together

As then ICMM’s Secretary General Paul Mitchell says, our “industry’s biodiversity conservation performance is under increasing scrutiny from NGOs, commentators and financial analysts. This is due in part to a growing awareness of the importance of biodiversity conservation, but also because the industry often operates in remote and environmentally sensitive areas of the world. Demonstrating a commitment to biodiversity conservation is now an essential element of sustainable development for the mining and metals industry.

ICMM members are committed to improving their performance in this area, and also to taking a role in educating governments and the public about the benefits that the mining and metals industry can play in biodiversity conservation.”

Principle 7 of ICMM’s Sustainable Development Framework states its commitment to “contribute to conservation of biodiversity and integrated approaches to land use planning”. This document is intended to assist members (and others) to meet this commitment by providing relevant guidance to managers in corporate and site offices.

This ICMM publication was developed as a part of the IUCN/ICMM Dialogue. A joint workshop at IUCN’s Headquarters in Gland in July 2003 agreed on the need to develop it, and also the structure of the document. “While the document has been developed by ICMM for its members, we are thankful to IUCN for its association and help in its development. We are also very grateful to the many individuals, and particularly the ICMM-IUCN Advisory Group and ICMM’s Biodiversity Working Group for the long hours they spent in reviewing countless drafts. A two-month public consultation process during 2005 also provided very valuable input to the process,” says Mitchell.

The question of how mining companies can improve their biodiversity performance is answered in considerable detail in the new 142-page ICMM publication, Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity.

The guide provides an informative, accessible and highly practical reference source on biodiversity which can be used by mining companies at all stages of their operations, from initial exploration to mine closure planning and implementation. It divides into four colour-coded sections:

• A background to biodiversity and its relevance to mining companies

• The management and integration of biodiversity into day to day operations

• Typical tools and processes needed for assessment – including stakeholder engagement;

• A variety of checklists and other supporting materials.

The Good Practice Guidance is available from the ICMM website at , or you can request a hard copy by sending an email to [email protected] including a full postal address.