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In brief

The Commission is currently developing the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030. This builds on the EU’s biodiversity strategy for 2020 launched in 2011.  This stresses the importance of biodiversity and the need to have nature in our lives.  The 5 main reasons for biodiversity loss are land and sea use changes, overexploitation of resources and organisms, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species. 

The Biodiversity strategy will increase the land and sea coverage for protected areas and improve their linkage. It will also tackle the issue of  restoration programs for these protected areas. 

This new legislation will still be is underpinned by the Birds and Habitats Directives. 

Our view

The European cement industry contributes to the no net loss of biodiversity in Europe, thanks to the rehabilitation projects which it implements at quarry level. Indeed, in many instances, these projects actually generate a net gain for nature! But is does not do this alone. Across Europe sites work regularly with NGOs and universities to undertake research and develop the most suitable projects for that particular quarry. The sector also works hard to communicate on these projects and the importance of biodiversity, particularly to local stakeholders.  From a policy perspective, the cement industry is supporting the European Commission in its efforts to improve the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives.

CEMBUREAU's recommendations can be summarised as follows:

  • Encourage planning for both biodiversity and business at Member State level
  • Monitor and enforce implementation of the legislation at national level
  • Apply the principle of equal treatment, both in terms of sectors and countries
  • Develop species action plans
  • Establish a clear definition of what is a 'favourable conservation status'
  • Ensure adequate funding to enhance and maintain Europe's biodiversity

The cement industry is also paying close attention to IAS, given that quarry sites run the risk of becoming colonised by IAS.  With this in mind, the sector has developed guidance on the prevention, management and control of IAS at quarry level.

In October 2021, CEMBUREAU together with BirdLife, HeidelbergCement, Eurogypsum, and UEPG released the "Extractive Sector Species Protection Code of Conduct" - a guidance for the management of temporary habitats linked to the extractive sector. The Code of Conduct will build on the provisions of the EU’s Birds and Habitats Directives and suggests a manageable approach for the extraction sector to protect species and fully respect the Birds and Habitats Directives by conserving nature through the implementation and management of temporary habitats. This is an excellent example of how nature conservation organisations and the business community can collaborate to come up with lasting solutions to meet the needs of biodiversity and people – ultimately helping to create a nature positive future.

In May 2022, CEMBUREAU has launched its Biodiversity Roadmap aiming to set a vision for biodiversity in and around quarries over the coming decades. Through this roadmap, CEMBUREAU and its members will contribute to the global goal of ‘Nature Positive’ by enhancing the ecological value of quarried areas, protecting, and restoring ecosystems to deliver sustainable growth, in harmony with the natural world.

TRACKING PROGRESS - The Cement Industry's Journey Towards Enhanced Biodiversity
CASE STUDIES: Q&A on inspiring stories from Europe’s quarries
Position Paper
Joint Statement between extractive sector and civil society
European Nature Restoration Law - an opportunity for a win-win for nature and industry
CEMBUREAU Biodiversity Roadmap
CEMBUREAU’s vision for biodiversity in and around quarries over the coming decades
Extractive Sector Species Protection Code of Conduct
CEMBUREAU together with BirdLife, HeidelbergCement, Eurogypsum, and UEPG
Nature Conservation in Cement Quarries