Organisations representing the extractives and financial sectors, collectively forming the Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CSBI) have collaborated to release a cross-sector guide for managing biodiversity using the mitigation hierarchy.

The CSBI, a partnership formed in 2013 between International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPECA) and the Equator Principles Association, is a unique collaboration between the finance, oil and gas, and mining sectors and aims to share their knowledge and expertise of biodiversity matters and develop practical tools.

The good practice guide focuses on managing biodiversity using the mitigation hierarchy, which is a framework for limiting the negative impacts of development projects on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The guidance was, in part, developed in response to the challenges in implementing the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standard 6 (PS6) and aims to balance conservation needs with development priorities to aid in the sustainable management of living, natural resources.

Developed by biodiversity practitioners working in, or with, extractive industries and financial institutions, the guidance offers a step-by-step approach and practical examples of how the mitigation hierarchy can be applied to address biodiversity challenges.

“The mitigation hierarchy guidance is a flagship product which brings together sector-leading knowledge and expertise to balance development and environmental priorities,” CSBI chairperson Dr Mark Johnston says.

“The cross-sector approach was essential in building an understanding about what state-of-the-art practice looks like,” he adds.

CSBI has now developed a set of products to help manage and mitigate the potential impacts of development projects on biodiversity, and realising positive impacts when possible.

This set includes the ‘Timeline Tool’ designed to assist staff involved in extractive project planning to better align project development, biodiversity impact management, and financial timelines and milestones. It also includes ‘Good Practices for the Collection of Biodiversity Baseline Data’ developed to help practitioners conduct a meaningful baseline to ensure that outcomes can be measured over time.

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