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Developing strategic partnerships with industry to reconcile business and biodiversity objectives

Dr. Lambertini (right) and Dr. Scheifele (left) sign the co-operation agreement between BirdLife and HeidelbergCement

As a first step towards a broader strategic partnership between BirdLife International and HeidelbergCement, a study has been undertaken to identify where mining operations throughout Europe and Central Asia come into contact with important sites for biodiversity including Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, Protected Areas and Natura 2000 sites. This work is helping to understand common interests and prioritise conservation action on the ground.


HeidelbergCement mining sites in Europe with high biodiversity value

N = 153. Source: BirdLife International and HeidelbergCement (2013)

A collaborative study between BirdLife International and HeidelbergCement covered 425 mining sites in 20 European and Central Asian countries. It identified 10 European countries as priorities for future strategic engagement as they contain a large number of quarry sites that coincide with areas of biodiversity value.

The study identified 153 mining sites as potentially having high biodiversity value based on their proximity to important locations for biodiversity, such as Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), Protected Areas and Natura 2000 sites. By ranking all mining sites based on a combination of their biodiversity value and a measure of the opportunities for site action, it was possible to identify a subset of sites where joint action is likely to have the most impact and success.

As a direct result of the study the following on-the-ground actions have been proposed:

  • development of Biodiversity Management Plans in 84 quarries
  • implementation of measures based on Biodiversity Management Plans in a minimum of 67 quarries
  • stakeholder engagement and education activities at all quarries
  • a number of species-focused projects, where most appropriate
  • conservation of biodiversity values on non-productive land around the quarries by engagement with the relevant stakeholders and promoting nature-oriented land stewardship at a landscape scale.

The study forms the first step of a broader three year partnership between BirdLife international and HeidelbergCement to:

  • work together to identify and set conservation objectives for target species and habitats in and around mining sites and quarries
  • develop additional conservation projects in the priority sites, enabling the country and local units of HeidelbergCement, together with national BirdLife Partners, to design, implement and monitor the projects
  • evaluate and document the success of the partnership, identifying possibilities to replicate the programme on other continents.


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Compiled 2013

Recommended Citation:
BirdLife International (2013) Developing strategic partnerships with industry to reconcile business and biodiversity objectives. Presented as part of the BirdLife State of the world's birds website. Available from: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/casestudy/549. Checked: 16/09/2014