Biodiversity and working in sensitive areas
BP takes steps to understand and manage the potential impacts of our operations on environmentally sensitive areas
BP operates in a diverse range of environments across the globe. We recognize that our operations have potential impacts and dependencies on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and that these pose both risks and opportunities to the business.
Projects implementing our environmental and social practices screen for potential impacts on biodiversity, including protected areas, environmentally sensitive areas, and globally threatened species and their habitats, as part of the process conducted during early project planning, prior to accessing an area and beginning work.
Where potential impacts on biodiversity are identified, we aim to take steps to assess and manage these risks, including consulting with relevant experts and agencies, and manage the potential impacts using a mitigation hierarchy. Then, depending on the impacts, we compile a wildlife or biodiversity management plan to implement measures to avoid or mitigate impacts on biodiversity.
In 2012, we engaged a global conservation organization, Fauna & Flora International (FFI), to review our biodiversity and ecosystem services practices and procedures. With FFI, we conducted internal workshops, one-to-one interviews with key personnel across BP, and external market analysis of emerging biodiversity and ecosystem services issues.
Following this engagement and discussions with FFI and other individual environmental non-governmental organizations, we are now in the process of reviewing our strategic approach to biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Pippa Howard, Director of Business and Biodiversity, Flora & Fauna International
Fauna & Flora International has assisted BP through 2012 in the review of the company's approach on biodiversity and ecosystem services. BP is giving significant attention to these matters and their integration with key sustainability risk areas such as energy, water, and climate change mitigation/adaptation. The strategic review undertaken by FFI highlighted the risks and opportunities posed to BP by its dependence and impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services. We outlined external drivers, internal perceptions and company responses, identified strengths and areas of common weakness and made recommendations for improvement.
Engaging with our industry on biodiversity issues
We are working with industry associations, IPIECA and OGP, to better understand the potential impacts on biodiversity from our industry and to develop industry-wide guidance in this area. For example, working with IPIECA, we are helping to establish a cross sector biodiversity initiative which will enable organizations to share their experiences.
We support the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the specialist biodiversity information and assessment centre of the United Nations Environment Programme, and we are a founding member of Proteus, a public-private partnership that aims to make biodiversity information more freely available to the public. We also support the Conservation Leadership Programme which funds young conservationists to identify and protect endangered species around the world.
Through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative we are supporting research to improve knowledge of the Gulf ecosystem, and to better understand and mitigate the potential impacts of oil spills in the region and elsewhere.