New IUCN guide on regulatory tools for improved biodiversity management in the cement and aggregates sector

17 July 2014 | News story

A new IUCN guide, Biodiversity management in the cement and aggregates sector: Regulatory tools, promotes collaboration between government, business and civil society to ensure that public policies enable better biodiversity management standards in the cement and aggregates sector.

The guide on regulatory tools has been developed for policy makers at the national level who are in the process of adopting, reviewing and implementing legislation linked to biodiversity standards for the extraction of construction materials.

Regulators have the opportunity to support the establishment of an enabling policy environment through the creation of a positive feedback loop that leads to increased incentives for business to improve biodiversity management within and surrounding their landholdings. The starting point is to put in place minimum requirements for all operators, followed by the creation of incentives to encourage companies to operate beyond the minimum standards. In addition, governments can scale up best practices by rewarding the implementation of voluntary measures that support clear biodiversity goals.

To help ensure that biodiversity considerations are appropriately integrated in the planning stages and throughout the life cycle of extraction operations, the guide is centred on a policy goal of fully integrating biodiversity management into resource extraction to achieve optimal outcomes for biodiversity, ecosystems and natural-resource-dependent communities. Underpinning this goal are five principles linked to ecosystem management, planning and stakeholder engagement which should set the direction of policies for the cement and aggregates sector.

In addition, the guide examines command-and-control, market-based and supporting instruments applied in different regional and national settings and how these can either enable or hinder businesses in safeguarding biodiversity within and around their landholdings. Some examples include:

Command-and-control:

  • In Europe, land use planning regularly takes into account nature protection, especially with regard to obligations linked to protected areas and requirements for species and habitats. By adopting an ecosystem approach, governments can establish rules that attract extractive operations where negative environmental impacts are less likely to occur.
  • In Southeast Asia, the rights of access to information and participation are expressed in the ASEAN Agreement on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. By encouraging open, participatory and transparent processes, governments can ensure sustainable outcomes in the long run.

Market-based: In Australia, offsetting frameworks are encouraged at the federal level under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and are reinforced by planning and conservation laws in a number of states and territories. Ensuring that offsets are only considered in the context of the mitigation hierarchy will minimize impacts on biodiversity.

Supporting: Infrastructure development for the 2016 summer Olympics in Brazil will be based on sustainable measures and principles linked to the country’s public procurement regulations which apply to both public and private providers.

The new guide is set to be piloted at the regional level through stakeholder dialogues, with the aim of developing plans of action for regional- or country-level policy interventions.

The guide can be downloaded here.

For more information on IUCN’s work with the cement and aggregates sector, click here.