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Dr Carolyn Jewell and Dr Shane Sparg
When considering the extractives sector, biodiversity is often thought of in terms of restoration post the operational activity. However, there is increasing evidence that biodiversity can thrive within an active quarry, with habitats occurring either spontaneously or initiated through creating basic enhancements. Functioning mostly as a support for pioneer species, these habitats will in most cases be removed as they make way for the expanding extractive activities, and thus make a unique contribution to population dynamics. These temporary habitats also play a critical role in supporting post-extraction restoration as they function as a nucleus and a point from which local biodiversity can disperse from. In a European context, with strict protection being applied to species through the Birds and Habitats Directives, having biodiversity within an active quarry can be challenging. In the past 5 years, much research has been focused on how to best integrate temporary habitats within active quarry environment. Examples of the extent of temporary habitats across the European cement sector will be presented, along with measure integrated into quarry management to increase, in particular bird and amphibian, populations. Questions will also be raised as to how to maximise these opportunities without triggering infringements due to the legal framework.
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program