Read part 1 here.
The CSI six stage plan for biodiversity
The development of a successful BMP needs to be undertaken in logical stages.
The initial stage of a BMP focuses on understanding more about the data already obtained and the facts already known. Information gathered during the original ESIA could be valuable here, as well as site maps, topographical data and information that is available about existing species. This may have been collected by the organisation itself or additional data could be sourced from NGOs, nature conservancy organisations or local landowners.
The CSI guidance recommends examining three aspects of the operation as part of a field investigation, to determine the overall sensitivity, significance or vulnerability of a site. These are: site significance, impact of operations and biodiversity risks. These investigations can be carried out in collaboration with a local or regional expert body. An example case study provided by the CSI cites a partnership created between a Costa Rican cement company and the country’s National Biodiversity Institute. Studies undertaken during dry and wet seasons helped to establish the importance and impacts relating to site biodiversity. These were then developed, with the help of other external stakeholders, to establish the goals and objectives of the site’s BMP.
A crucial part of any successful BMP is undertaking stakeholder engagement. The CSI guidance provides a checklist to help users identify which stakeholders to involve, the actions that should be taken and a useful reference source for further information, for those less familiar with how the engagement process should be undertaken. The main purpose of any engagement exercise should be to seek knowledge. Asking experts, local communities and NGOs for their help, opinion and advice, will help to shape the BMP. Key issues and stakeholder expectations should be assessed in terms of their relevance and importance to the BMP and its successful implementation.
Determine priorities, define targets, monitor and evaluate
Drawing on work undertaken by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the guidance sets out ways in which species, habitat and ecosystem priorities can be assessed. Biodiversity targets and related actions can then be defined, potential barriers to achieving the BMP identified, funding requirements and implementation scheduling agreed. This stage of the CSI Plan includes the use of a Mitigation Hierarchy (which is detailed in the guidance).
The CSI recommends that comprehensive BMPs should include a defined process for specifying any actions required to protect or enhance biodiversity during or after any quarrying activity that would be monitored in order to assess whether the BMP is serving its purpose.
Writing the BMP
Once the scope and framework of the BMP has been established, the penultimate phase in the process is actually committing the plan to paper and writing a BMP. Although there is no standard template that will fit all eventualities, an example BMP document structure is provided in the guidance as an indication for developing such a document.
Reviewing, revising and reporting
The final stage focuses on adaptive management and reporting; ensuring that what was planned at the outset is actually being delivered by the BMP. It is likely that modifications and changes will need to be made to any BMP, as circumstances change and also as the plan is put to the test in a practical situation. The key point is that a BMP should remain flexible. “As new information becomes available, or your own knowledge of aspects of the biodiversity management plan increases, so the plan itself needs to allow for adaptive management,” explains Philippe.
Valuable resource for the cement industry
The CSI’s task force has collaborated extensively with a number of NGOs, as well as its members, to compile this comprehensive resource on biodiversity management in the cement sector. By combining the content with other existing guidance on quarry rehabilitation and biodiversity management more broadly, cement producers and quarry managers will be able to design, implement and report on biodiversity management plans, which will add value to their sustainability strategy.
Copies of the CSI’s 48-page Biodiversity Management Plan Guidance can be downloaded from the website, www.wbcsdcement.org.
Written by Graham Sprigg, Managing Director of IMS Consulting and a Member of the Cement Sustainability Initiative’s Communications Task Force. This is an abridged version of the full article, which appeared in the April 2015 issue of World Cement. Subscribers can read the full article by logging in. They can also read the magazine on smart phones and tablets by downloading World Cement’s app.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/02042015/improving-biodiversity-management-part-2-611/