What is it?

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 is in grave danger 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 by 2010. They will need the help of all stakeholders, particularly businesses to meet this challenge.

The Lime 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 lime 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 offer some examples of biodiversity conversation.

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, communities and other stakeholders on biodiversity.

The lime sector supports the initiatives by IMA-Europe (the European Industrial Minerals Association) of which EuLA is a member, such as the European Minerals Day (www.mineralsday.eu) - an open door event offering the public a means to learn more about the minerals sector and biodiversity found in quarry operations.

A comprehensive overview of the minerals sector contribution to biodiversity conservation can be viewed in the 6 minute video (click here). Some further individual Biodiversity Case Studies in the lime sector: