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.
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.
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.
NatureMetrics releases a guide on eDNA-powered nature intelligence in coastal ecosystems at COP28. The guide highlights the role of coastal ecosystems in climate change mitigation and conservation, and the potential of eDNA technology to monitor biodiversity.