Biodiversity is the variety of all life and natural processes on Earth, including diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. Biodiversity provides food and medicine, fresh air and clean water, protection from natural disasters and green spaces for humans. It is the natural capital which supports all our lives. Biodiversity is vital for our survival and is a key measure of the health of our planet. Yet studies show that biodiversity suffers from habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, climate change and overexploitation, all of which are seriously eroding the capacity of our planet to sustain life. Governments worldwide have promised to save biodiversity. They will need the help of all stakeholders, particularly businesses to meet this challenge.
Minerals Sector commitment to biodiversity
While mineral raw materials play a vital and valuable role in human wellbeing providing products that meet the needs of today's society, the way they are extracted from the earth has a potential impact on biodiversity. The minerals industry is well aware of this and of its responsibility to support biodiversity and is actively working towards its conservation and enhancement. The case studies on this page and the next offer some examples of biodiversity conversation, and a short film (6') gives a further nice overview (link).
At many sites, conserving biodiversity is part of the decision-making process and a foundation of land-restoration and water management policy. Biodiversity is taken into account before, during and after extraction and, in some cases its successful management has led to the creation of new natural habitats. Many quarry operators solicit the help of biodiversity specialists and work in partnership with government, universities, communities and other stakeholders on biodiversity.
The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences edited a booklet for the public with "336 tips for biodiversity" and a brochure entitled "52 actions for biodiversity", which is available for download in all european languages thanks to the support of the European Commission, as part of the European Campaign for Biodiversity. For more information, see the EUROPA website.