The Annual Assembly of the European Cement Association, CEMBUREAU, took place in Copenhagen on 5 June 2012 – World Environment Day. Resource efficiency was the main theme of a panel discussion involving IUCN Regional Director for Europe Hans Friederich.
Hans Friederich underlined the biodiversity aspects of mining and quarrying and presented the mitigation hierarchy necessary to address some of the immediate and residual biodiversity impacts. He said that “The challenge for managing karst ecosystems and limestone landscapes is that much of the endemic and rich karst biodiversity involves small invertebrates, and this often includes highly site-specific species. It is therefore critical to assess the biodiversity of these sites at the pre-planning stage and determine how to deal with significant impacts. This requires specialised expertise which IUCN can provide”. A working group on karst and caves which specifically deals with limestone terrain and karst ecosystems is established in IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).
Pavan Sukhdev, leader of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study, talked about sustainability indicators, such as the ecological footprint of countries and companies, which he thinks can be used to determine progress on sustainable development. His conclusion was that emerging markets like China, Russia and Brazil need to develop along a green trajectory, while developed countries like the USA, Japan and most of Europe need to reduce energy consumption in order to achieve sustainable development.
Pia Bucella, Director of Nature, Biodiversity and Land use at the European Commission presented the EU Resource Efficiency programme and stressed the need to “do more with less” through re-use and re-cycling. Earlier, Jeremy Oppenheimer from McKinsey, London illustrated that improving building efficiency can reduce energy consumption by nearly 700 billion US Dollars.
The debate was facilitated by Fraser Cameron, Director of the EU-Russia Centre in Brussels.