Proactive work with biodiversity will save time in the permit processes
Swedish Mining Innovation’s strategic project “The current and future relationship between the Swedish mining industry and biodiversity” has been ongoing since the end of 2019. Just over halfway into the project, we have received a progress report from project manager Tove Hägglund at Ecogain.
Tove will also be with us at Swedish Mining Innovation Program day on October 1 to tell more about the project, then everyone is welcome to listen.
Just over halfway through the project period, how is it going?
– It´s going fine, thank you! We have an incredible commitment and strong progress according to plan. There has also been a lot of curiosity from other industry organizations on this project, several are interested in doing something similar for their respective industries.
The project will make working with increased biodiversity profitable for the mining companies. How will that happen?
– Firstly, proactive work with biodiversity will save time in the permit processes by increasing the industry’s own competence. Secondly, banks and financial institutions have begun to take an interest in biodiversity and are placing increasing demands on sustainability. If the mining industry can therefore demonstrate a proactively sustainable operation from the biodiversity aspect, it will be easier to obtain capital. And thirdly, an increased traceability of the origin of metals will mean that customers will eventually be able to make a conscious choice, which opens up for a diversified price picture. It will benefit Swedish producers.
When it comes to a new project like this on biodiversity and mining, what are the biggest challenges?
– I believe that we have the biggest challenges ahead of us, how to take it further and to anchor the concept and implement new ways of working. Another challenge is to find measurable goals for biodiversity at all. You can compare with how they have agreed in the climate work to calculate carbon dioxide equivalents. There is no equivalent yet for biodiversity.
This year has not been the same, what happens to the UN’s Super Year for Nature and Biodiversity?
– The Corona has been a real setback for the whole society, but the UN’s Super Year for Nature has actually become a digital investment instead, it is impressive to see that it has nevertheless been possible to implement it. The major conference on the Convention on Biological Diversity, which should have been held in China in October, has been moved forward to the spring of 2021. But all the preparatory work is underway, which is very positive. The pandemic has also made us open our eyes to how we treat nature and natural resources and our land. Right now, many connections are being made to the fact that this pandemic has arisen because the pressure on biodiversity is too great, the animals’ living spaces are too small and they are therefore seeking refuge in our societies. This increases the risk of viruses of this type jumping from one species to another that has been the case with the coronavirus.
What conclusions do you draw from it?
– That it is extremely difficult to predict risks of depleting nature. But all the more important to work with reinvesting in nature.
The interview is produced by Svemin.