More How BirdLife and Business Work Together
Mitigation and restoration
At many business sites impacts can be mitigated, through appropriate resource-use methods or by ensuring the long-term security of adjoining areas. On the Great Salt Lake, Utah, the National Audubon Society (BirdLife in the USA) manages the Gilmore Sanctuary, while as a mitigation project, Kennecott Utah Copper (a Rio Tinto company) owns and manages the Inland Sea Shorebird Reserve which lies immediately adjacent. KUC and Audubon are working together to ensure that these areas are managed and appreciated as a globally important site beyond the closure of the mine. Biodiversity can sometimes be restored at previously worked sites. An agreement between the RSPB and Hanson PLC will result in the largest reed swamp in the UK being restored at Needingworth, Cambridgeshire following gravel extraction, and support the site's conversion to a major nature reserve.
Global environmental profile
BirdLife's global reach and expertise combine with corporate commitment to deliver world class conservation programmes. BirdLife's pioneering collaboration with BP since 1990 (in conjunction with Fauna & Flora International, Conservation International and the Wildlife Conservation Society) has so far supported 194 student-led biodiversity projects in 60 countries. BirdLife's input ensures that these projects address international conservation priorities, are well-planned, executed and reported, and grow individual and national conservation capacity. As a result the programme appropriately showcases BP's real environmental commitment.
Building awareness and involvement
Birds are an excellent way for awakening an interest in nature, and building awareness of environmental issues. BirdLife's collaborative programme with Rio Tinto promotes birdwatching events at mine sites to develop environmental awareness and interest among staff and local communities. In 2002, 43 events with over 1400 participants were held at sites in North and South America, southern Africa, Madagascar, Britain, India, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. Events involve birdwatching and a range of associated environmental and educational activities appropriate to the needs of local communities, employees and their families. They provide a chance for the business and BirdLife to communicate their messages, both to each other and to the wider public.
Engaging the wider community
Forward-looking businesses need to engage constructively with the wider community. Several BirdLife Partners and Rio Tinto are working together to develop sustainable local conservation projects at, or near, a range of mine sites. This cultivates a biodiversity stewardship role for business alongside socio-economic development. In South Africa, BirdLife South Africa is collaborating with Richards Bay Minerals to develop a regional eco-tourism initiative, focusing on networked bird tourism at Richards Bay and other IBAs and sites throughout Zululand. The process engages a wide range of stakeholders in tourism, nature conservation and local government, and has identified IBAs and other wildlife sites as core economic resources underpinning this form of sustainable development.
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