Increased consideration for biological diversity must be profitable. Not only for nature but also for business. Now Svemin, as the first industry organization, is launching a roadmap for how to do it.
– Biological diversity is a pre-requisite both for us as humans and for our mining operations, says Linda Bjurholt, environmental manager at LKAB. Developing this roadmap is a very important step towards preserving and increasing biodiversity in our immediate areas.
LKAB, together with SveMin's working group for Nature and the consulting company Ecogain, has developed a roadmap for increased biodiversity in the mining and minerals industry. The project is called Mining with Nature and work on the roadmap has been ongoing during 2020. The results were launched during SveMin's Autumn Meeting on 17 november 2020 and can be downloaded here.
For anyone interested in hearing more there will be a seminar on Mining with Nature on 13 january 2021.
Research shows that the loss of biodiversity is as great a threat to welfare as climate change and that the two threats reinforce each other.
– At the same time, there are great opportunities to favor biological diversity, through, for example, care and restoration measures, which the mining industry now wants to utilize in a new and pioneering way, says Maria Sunér Fleming, CEO of Svemin.
The mining and mineral industry is one of the businesses that needs to take on new land in order to be able to develop. Mines can also not choose which land, but can only be located where the ore is located. For this reason, the industry has long worked with issues of nature conservation and post-treatment after completion of operations.
Until a couple of years ago, the work was mainly about replanting forests and greening industrial areas and landfills. More and more efforts have now been focused on compensating for lost natural values and on creating ecological added value. Several of Svemin's member companies are already pioneers in the field.
– The time is now ripe to gather strength around the work of preserving and increasing biodiversity in the places where the mining industry operates. We do this to get a uniformity in how we act but also to be able to show in a transparent way how the mining industry works. Our ambition is also for it to serve as inspiration both for the mining industry internationally and for other industries, says Maria Sunér Fleming.
The basis of the roadmap is based on science and the hierarchy of considerations; that is, to avoid, minimize, restore and compensate for the impact on biodiversity. The roadmap's stated goal is that the mining and minerals industry by 2030 must contribute to increased biodiversity in all the regions where mining and minerals activities and exploration are ongoing.
How should this be done in practice?
– It will be done by building increased knowledge about species and natural environments before restoration and ecological compensation. Another central part of the roadmap is the importance of innovation and collaborations with other actors, such as academia and public actors, says Linda Bjurholt, who, besides being environmental manager at LKAB is also chairman of the steering group for the Mining with Nature project.
A success factor for each actor behind the common goal is to set their own goals for biodiversity, appoint mandates and allocate resources to work towards the goals. More specifically, the work can involve mapping risks, dependencies and opportunities to create added value for biological diversity.
The industry is given the right conditions to work effectively for increased biodiversity. Today, to some extent, the structures and frameworks needed for the public sector to be able to support business actors who want to contribute to national and global goals in biodiversity are lacking.
– We address a number of calls to politicians and authorities, including the importance of predictability, clarity and holistic perspective in trials as well as the importance of committed interlocutors in the public sector, says Maria Sunér Fleming.