The Nature Advantage: Future-proofing biodiversity strategies in the extractives sector

Published: 3rd August 2023

Download our new guide to learn how eDNA-based nature intelligence is empowering extractives companies to get ahead of tightening biodiversity regulations.

The extractives industry has a vital role to play in powering the world’s transition to sustainable energy and achieving net-zero emissions. However, with the demand for minerals projected to quadruple by 2040, mining companies face increasing pressure to balance this rush for resources with protecting biodiversity.

New biodiversity regulations like the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) will soon mandate that companies report on and mitigate their impacts on nature. Voluntary frameworks like the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) will also put biodiversity risk under the spotlight.

So how can extractives companies meet these new requirements while contributing to global climate and nature goals? The answer lies in embracing new nature intelligence tools and techniques.

Technologies like environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling are revolutionizing biodiversity monitoring. It identifies species from traces of DNA in environmental samples, rapidly mapping habitats and species distributions.

Linking eDNA data with ecosystem health metrics converts complex biodiversity data into intuitive and actionable insights. Companies gain a detailed grasp of ecological dynamics across project lifecycles and regions.

Crucially, eDNA delivers standardized, scalable data at a fraction of the costs of conventional monitoring. This enables landscape-scale measurement of cumulative biodiversity impacts and risks.

Leading mining groups like Anglo American and Sinese are already using eDNA and nature performance monitoring to overhaul biodiversity practices and prepare for incoming TNFD-aligned reporting requirements. From early exploration to closure, they can pinpoint nature risks, track mitigation efficacy and make informed, nature-positive decisions.

Anglo American have reduced specialist fieldwork by over 90% using eDNA. They’ve also enhanced safety and democratized monitoring by enabling local community participation.

These insights help companies pre-emptively align with incoming biodiversity regulations. They allow accurate, auditable measurement of nature performance against international targets like the Sustainable Development Goals.

But the benefits run deeper than compliance. Nature intelligence gives organizations a comprehensive view of ecosystems that conventional data cannot. This empowers smarter strategies for avoiding, minimizing and offsetting biodiversity damage.

And it enables extractives companies to contribute to global biodiversity research, supporting the conservation of still unknown species.

In short, eDNA and nature performance monitoring are making biodiversity measurable at last. They provide the insights mining companies need to balance resource access with restoring and improving nature.

Want to learn more about how nature intelligence is transforming biodiversity governance? Download our new whitepaper today.

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