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The fourth edition of HeidelbergCement’s Quarry Life Award

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

Engaging hundreds of students, researchers, and NGOs in the protection of natural wildlife at mining sites, HeidelbergCement has held its fourth Quarry Life Award (QLA). The competition is a lighthouse biodiversity contest, this year awarding seven winners.

The competition is based on science and education and aims to raise awareness of the organic value of mining sites, finding new ways to further enhance it. More than 100 project groups from 25 countries competed in the 2018 competition, following the motto, ‘nature will be the biggest winner.’ Projects included roosting boxes for micro bats, creating a biodiversity hiking trail, and gaining relevant knowledge about pollinators in quarries. The company has stated that the QLA 2018 provided a variety of new insights into biodiversity in quarries and its management.

Seven international jury members followed clear criteria in order to decide on the six category winners, with each receiving €10 000 prize money. The Grand Prize winner was awarded with €30 000.

The winner of the grand prize was a project considering whether quarries can offer sufficient food resources for an entire growing season. The project questioned if active quarries, reclaimed quarries, and cultural landscapes differ as to their suitability for pollinators. The winning team was from the Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, which answered these questions by providing scientific evidence about the importance of quarries (both active and reclaimed) as a lifeline for the declining population of bees.

The winners of each category were the following: for Biodiversity Management, ‘Ruling the Roost: Developing Thermally Optimal Roosts to Enhance Micro Bat Population’; for Habitat and Species, ‘From Time to Time, from Quarry to Nature’; for Beyond Quarry Borders, ‘Restoration and Optimisation of the Functionality of a Seconday Cannel in Charny-sur-Meuse’; for Biodiversity and Education, ‘Communicating Boxes: An Educational Project about Valdilecha’s Quarry’; for Student Class Project, ‘A Brand New Approach to Plantation in Bozalan Clay’; and finally, for Connecting Quarries and Communities, ‘The Tice’s Meadow Diversity Trail’.

“The QLA not only enables students, researchers, and NGOs to engage in exceptional hands-on research, but it also helps HeidelbergCement to further improve our diversity management and strengthen our bonds to scientific research, local communities, and nature conservation in general,” said Dr Albert Scheuer, Managing Board Member.

“We paid special attention to the innovation of a project idea, its transferability to other operation sites, as well as benefits generated for HeidelbergCement,” said Dr Carolyn Jewell, Senior Manager of Biodiversity at HeidelbergCement and Chairwoman of the jury.

Members of the managing board of HidelbergCement celebrated the winners, along with representatives of industry, associations, and nature protection organisations. The company will now select project teams, who will have the chance to further implement their findings in 2019 and the next edition of the QLA will begin in 2020.

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