Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity
The intent of this publication is to help mining companies understand biodiversity and improve and measure their performance against its principles. The guide is a practical reference source on biodiversity that can be used by mining companies at all stages of their operations, from exploration to mine closure. By implementing these guidelines, companies will be better able to identify and evaluate biodiversity and understand its interfaces with their activities, assess potential for negative impacts, develop and apply mitigation measures for such impacts, and increase their contribution to biodiversity enhancement or conservation.
This Good Practice Guide (GPG) encompasses the steps required to improve biodiversity management throughout the mining cycle. It assumes the existence of a corporate commitment to the ICMM sustainable development principles and sub-elements, which may be reflected in individual members’ biodiversity strategies, policies or standards. It does not address the development of policies with respect to biodiversity in any detail other than in the context of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) in Chapter 5 (see section 5.3.1 on securing a corporate commitment). Instead, it offers a series of practical modules that should enable companies to:
- Understand the interfaces between their activities and biodiversity: Help companies recognize the interfaces between their various operational activities and biodiversity, and to engage effectively with stakeholders.
- Assess the likelihood of their activities having negative impacts on biodiversity: Undertake practical steps to assess the potential for operational activities to negatively affect biodiversity and related stakeholders.
- Mitigate potential impacts on biodiversity: Identify and implement a hierarchy of measures to protect biodiversity and affected stakeholders.
- Explore the potential to contribute to biodiversity conservation: Beyond the mitigation of impacts, explore the potential to contribute to biodiversity conservation or protection.
The GPG has been developed to be applicable to a variety of operational contexts, encompassing a range of ecosystem types (from deserts to lowland tropical environments, for instance) and importance (such as where biodiversity may be of international importance or of very limited importance). As a consequence, the application and interpretation of the guidance will sometimes depend on specialized local knowledge or biodiversity expertise – this is flagged at various points within the GPG.