A correct management of geological resources allows for compatibility between extraction and biodiversity management, even in protected areas. This was one of the main conclusions to which more that 130 national and international experts came to during the International Forum "Contribution of the extractive industry to the Natura 2000 network - an opportunity for biodiversity". This event was held on 9 February 2017, at the Spanish Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment in Madrid, Spain.
The European Network for Sustainable Quarrying and Mining (ENSQM) is a raw material commitment linked with the Strategic Implementation Action Plan of the European Innovation Partnership–(EIP) on Raw Materials, under the non-technological pillar: “Improving Europe's raw materials framework conditions, and public awareness”. It is launched for the period 2017-2020.
Five European and two national mineral raw materials associations, as well as two national authorities launched this joint initiative to creating a platform facilitating stakeholder dialogue at national level and with the EU and promoting a culture of sustainable mining and quarrying. The mineral sectors involved so far are gypsum (Eurogypsum), aggregates (UEPG), cement (CEMBUREAU), salt (EUSalt) and industrial minerals (IMA-Europe), as well as the Spanish non-energy extractive industry association (COMINROC) and the German BV Steine und Erden. The national authorities supporting this initiative are the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) in Spain and the Department for Energy and Geology in Portugal.
With their holistic and inclusive approach on sustainable mining and quarrying – addressing and taking into account economic, social and environmental values, the partners seek to facilitate a culture of cooperation and synergy among all key stakeholders, and as such contribute to objectives of the raw materials initiative. More information can be found here.
In 2017, two main activities are planned to foster constructive dialogue at national and EU level for enhancing access to resources for growth and jobs in the European Union:
Contact: Jessica Johnson, CEMBUREAU
On 24 June 2016 EU, national and regional policymakers joined the raw materials sector in Pamplona to discuss compatibility between extraction activities and Natura 2000 sites. One of the key highlights of the discussion was ways in which the various actors can work together to ensure that economic activities can be undertaken whilst at the same time managing and conserving biodiversity.
The day was organised by the main organisations representing the extractive sector in Spain, notably MAGES, COMINROC, ANEFA, AFA de Navarra and AINDEX. Daniel Calleja Crespo, European Commission Environment Director, introduced the 150 people present to the EU legislation which is applicable to the sector in Natura 2000 areas, with a particular focus on the compatibility between generating economic growth through extraction activities and preserving the environment. He also underlined the importance of the extractive industry in terms of the social and economic opportunities it provides to local communities, primarily in rural areas.
A wide range of stakeholders were invited to participate in a panel debate, offering participants the opportunity of gaining an insight into the views of industry, policymakers and NGO's.
A full report in Spanish is available from here