RWE is one of the top European energy companies. IUCN has established a working relationship to further integrate biodiversity values into RWE policies and practices. A first joint project will be carried out in 2014. This project will provide a basis to understand how the RWE Group currently addresses restoration of lignite open cast mines and provides, and opportunities available to better protect local biodiversity.
The project will be framed by the mitigation hierarchy (avoid, minimize, manage, restore) related to negative impacts, and will also examine socio-economic impacts of restoration measures linked to the provision of ecosystem services.
The focus on lignite restoration practices will be used as a stepping stone to a broader engagement between the two organisations.
The long term goals of the collaboration are that RWE Group strengthens its biodiversity management practices and addresses impacts in the context of the mitigation hierarchy. IUCN will also use this project to help adapt the biodiversity management tools they have developed with companies in other sectors for adoption by the energy sector.
The project will kick off with a workshop including a site visit with experts from both IUCN and RWE before spring. A call for experts in IUCN’s Commissions and membership, particularly from Germany, will be made in the coming weeks.