Story | 06 Jul, 2021

IUCN and INSEE Viet Nam sign new agreement to support the company’s biodiversity Net Positive Impact target by 2030

In June 2021, IUCN signed a 3-year-agreement with INSEE Viet Nam to assist the company achieve biodiversity net positive impact (NPI) by 2030 through biodiversity offsets outside its Hon Chong plant and biodiversity conservation measures inside and adjacent to its plant.

This follows a 2-year-agreement between IUCN and INSEE Viet Nam to revise the Biodiversity Action Plan for Hon Chong that IUCN prepared in 2012.

INSEE’s Hon Chong cement plant is located in Kien Luong District, Kien Giang Province. The karst hills of Kien Luong are being quarried by four cement companies including three state owned ones and INSEE. By 2016, about 40% of the hills had been quarried with 258 hectares remaining from the original 447 hectares. Of these companies, INSEE is the only one that is seeking to balance the triple bottom line of economic growth, environmental performance and social responsibility.

The main areas of collaboration under the new agreement are to: (1) secure the Phu My Wetland Nature Reserve as an offset for the wetland inside the Hon Chong plant that is being dug out for clay; (2) establish the Kien Luong Karst Nature Reserve as an offset for the karst hills that are being quarried to provide limestone for the cement plant.

Phu My is one of the very few remaining natural grasslands in the Mekong Delta and is an important roosting area for the Sarus crane (Antigone antigone). It has suffered significant encroachment by rice and shrimp farmers over the last decade, reducing the core zone from 1,070 hectares since its establishment in 2016 to 957 hectares today. Proposed activities include a feasibility study on completing a ring dike around the grassland to prevent further encroachment and conserving and restoring grasslands.

IUCN has long advocated establishment of the Kien Luong Karst Nature Reserve based on the results of a series of surveys that have documented extremely high levels of species endemism. It is hoped that the new provincial government will support this move to protect the last remaining unquarried karst hills.