Biodiversity in mineral extraction sites
Partnership with HeidelberCement Objectives of the Partnerhip Projects
There is recognition and a growing scientific knowledge about the high value of quarries as special places for biodiversity.
In Europe, and a growing number of other countries, the opening, closing and after life of aggregate pits and quarries is a subject of environmental impact assessment and is planned for many years ahead. Such planning allows, on one hand, to avoid the most sensitive areas. On the other hand ecologically minded quarry managers can promote biodiversity at any stage of operations by ensuring the existence of biodiversity valuable habitats. We promote the application of the so called Mitigation hierarchy to biodiversity sensitive mining. Finally, as part of restoration new possibilities are opened to return many of the sites to wildlife friendly condition.
Secondly, by (re)creating semi-natural habitats old quarries can not only host rare species, but can play the role of landscape connectors, providing ecological links between areas of preserved natural habitat, which are otherwise lost within agricultural or urbanized landscapes. Finally, the companies of the mineral sector are an important land owner and influential stakeholder with the potential to attract others into local and regional cooperation on land-use planning and sustainable local development benefitting nature and people.