Under the IUCN-Shell agreement, in 2009 IUCN undertook an independent review of the efficacy of Shell’s Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs).

A BAP is a set of future actions that will lead to the conservation or enhancement of biodiversity, and builds on the Impact Assessment process by focusing on biodiversity in sensitive areas. At Shell, BAPs are mandatory for major installations or pipelines overlapping with areas of high biodiversity value and recommended for other environmentally sensitive areas.

The independent BAP review was undertaken by an IUCN staff member seconded to Shell along with representatives from IUCN’s Species Survival CommissionProtected Areas Programme and West and Central Africa Programme. The teams reviewed 4 of the 9 Shell operations where a BAP was in place in 2009.

The review made a series of conclusions and recommendations, including that:

  • A BAP does not guarantee that an oil and gas industry project will not have negative biodiversity impacts
  • The purpose of BAPs should be better communicated within Shell and their quality should be progressively improved

Shell provided a management response to the review, which included commitments to strengthen the use of BAPs.