Union Européenne des Producteurs de Granulats
Europäischer Gesteinsverband - European Aggregates Association



Biodiversity

Biodiversity in aggregates extraction sites. UEPG has a dedicated Task Force on Biodiversity raising awareness on biodiversity and nature in extraction sites and exchanging good practices.

As one of the few sectors represented among major actors on the EU Biodiversity Policy, the European Aggregates Industry is now widely recognised as a trusted partner for nature conservation by EU institutions and a growing number of NGOs and academic researchers.

Aggregates Extraction & Biodiversity : Compatible

Throughout the life of aggregates extraction sites (quarries, sand and gravel extraction sites) a large diversity of high biological value habitats is generated. These habitats are protected from external disturbances and pollution.

In that respect, active and restored aggregates extraction sites form an integral part of nature conservation areas and Natura 2000 sites. In fact, a number of Natura 2000 areas have been designated on former and active extraction sites, demonstrating the compatibility of aggregates extraction with biodiversity and nature conservation.

High value habitats

Before

Before the extraction begins, environmental impact assessments are done to ensure potential impacts on biodiversity are mitigated. An important part of the assessment (which would continue throughout the full life of the site) is the dialogue with stakeholders

During

Aggregates extraction sites, by their very specificities, can be natural biodiversity havens.

An ad-hoc management (e.g. Biodiversity Management Plans) helps creating new habitats and attracting pioneer species. It is important to raise awareness and to train the staff on simple behaviours (for instance no disturbance during the breeding season) that will help biodiversity blossom.

After

Rehabilitation should be achieved both through actions of mitigation and progressive restoration during operations. The final restoration will help sustaining the outcomes and benefits from the extraction. Restoration is done on a site-by-site basis and in accordance with the permit. Different tools are used.


Dynamic Management of Biodiversity

Biodiversity protection can benefit from a more dynamic management of sites.

Aggregates extraction sites, by their very specificities, can be natural biodiversity havens, an ad-hoc management (e.g. Biodiversity Management Plans) helps creating new habitats and attracting pioneer species such as the sand martin, eagle owls, lizards, natterjack toads, solitary bees among many others species.

“LIFE in Quarries” is a milestone project coordinated by our Belgian members FEDIEX, demonstrating the generation of habitats through its operations.

LIFE in Quarries

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