Contributing to enhanced biodiversity
The maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystems for future generations is paramount in the way we think about the environment and sustainability. We acknowledge that the very nature of our operations means we will have impacts on the environment.
At every operation, regardless of location, it’s a core business requirement to implement controls to prevent, minimise, rehabilitate and offset, as appropriate, impacts to biodiversity. In addition, supporting conservation efforts of the highest quality is a targeted way of creating value for society and upholds Our BHP Charter value of sustainability.
In FY2017, in line with our target, all our assets maintained land and biodiversity management plans that included controls to demonstrate our mitigation hierarchy to manage their biodiversity and ecosystems impacts.
In addition to the environmental management actions of our assets, in FY2012 we established a target to finance the conservation and ongoing management of areas of high biodiversity and ecosystem value that are of national or international conservation significance. We established an alliance with Conservation International to support the delivery of this target and improve our approach to biodiversity management more broadly.
As at the end of FY2017, we had committed over US$50 million to conservation, in addition to the environmental management activities at our assets. This has included the Five Rivers Conservation Area in Tasmania, Australia, Valdivian Coastal Reserve in Chile, Raine Island in Queensland, Australia, Alto Mayo in Peru and the Kasigau Corridor in Kenya. These contributions have enhanced the management for conservation of over 620,000 hectares of land, improved the livelihoods of around 2,500 people, as conservation agreement beneficiaries, and ensured the continued provision of drinking water for over 250,000 people. In addition, at the Five Rivers Conservation Area and the Valdivian Coastal Reserve, endowments were established to ensure conservation activities could continue to be sustained into the long term.
This represents a successful conclusion to this target and provides a strong base for our new biodiversity targets.