A pathway to integrated objective based monitoring at mines to ensure net positive biodiversity outcomes

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Chrizette Neethling

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Land management on mines cannot be effective without useful, reliable information on changes in their environment. Biodiversity inventory is a point-in-time effort to quantify species resources in space. Ecological monitoring is the sequential measurement of ecological systems over time, detecting trends in the components, processes, or functions. Mining companies are required to monitor biodiversity. South African legislation does not prescribe monitoring and provides no guidance from on submitted monitoring. The result is contrasting monitoring of limited value, functioning as repeat inventories with limited decision support capabilities. Confidence in biodiversity monitoring is poor, reducing budgets over time, interrupting long-term data, and reducing data integrity to obsolescence. If an objective based monitoring framework is in place, land management will be informed practically and increase net biodiversity value. Specialist studies and intern programs on mines can compare data across different areas. Legal obligations in terms of environmental, water, biodiversity and closure are integrated. Biodiversity risk assessment results provide further focus. From this point, the site level drivers and specific monitoring objectives are determined. Long-term and short-term key questions are formulated to provide precise results. The monitoring parameters and criteria are determined with supporting monitoring methods and schedules. Finally, the monitoring site determination and plot layout are designed, to obtain the most monitoring and data use efficiency. We present a monitoring framework based on reverse planning principles with objectives addressing key questions to improve biodiversity management through setting up parameters, criteria, and benchmarks in an integrated way.  Results are presented using two case studies.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration