Biodiversity and sensitive areas

We work to avoid activities in or near protected areas, and take actions to minimize and mitigate potential impacts on biodiversity

Some of our activities occur in places that may have cultural significance, are home to protected species, or are in areas with outstanding biological, geographical or social value. We recognize that some areas may be considered particularly sensitive for oil and gas activities. Decisions to operate in these areas are made only after careful consideration on a case-by-case basis.

Biodiversity

We work with conservation organizations, including The Nature Conservancy and Fauna and Flora International, to help understand biodiversity trends, issues and threats. We also work with local non-governmental organizations and communities to manage wildlife issues around our sites. For example, in Alaska, we support Polar Bears International and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

In preparation for the expansion of our Tangguh liquefied natural gas plant in Indonesia, we assessed potential impacts on the local habitat, focusing on endangered or native species. To help conserve the biodiversity, we have relocated priority plant species to nearby forests, including orchids and fan palms, and will continue to monitor their health.

And at our Cherry Point refinery in the US, we have created new wetland habitats and established a citizen science programme to monitor amphibian populations.

International protected areas

Due to the growing number of protected areas, our reporting now focuses on our activities that are in or close to the most sensitive areas, which we refer to as ‘international protected areas’. We review the location of our activities in and close to these areas each year, as this can change from year to year as governments update protected area designations.

Four of our major operations have activities in international protected areas. This includes two pipelines in World Heritage sites. Our shipping fleet sometimes passes through protected areas as part of normal operations.

Project screening and impact assessment

We evaluate all new projects to determine whether planned activities could affect international protected areas.

If our screening process shows that a proposed project’s planned activities could affect or enter an international protected area, we conduct a detailed impact assessment before activities can take place and identify ways to first avoid, and if needed, minimize and mitigate any potential impact. We then require executive approval before any physical activities can take place.

No new BP project has sought permission for entry into or work in an international protected area since 2006.

Marine environments

BP has an extensive deepwater portfolio and we work to understand how our operations may disturb marine habitats or sensitive areas. We use technology to collect data on underwater sound and marine mammals. For example, we are investigating the use of a marine autonomous vehicle at our Clair Ridge field in the UK to gather baseline environmental information.

Despite deciding not to progress our exploration drilling programme in the Great Australian Bight, we have committed to continue to support the Great Australian Bight research programme until it concludes in 2017. This research examines the biological and socio-economic importance of the Bight and aims to support any future developments to co-exist with the area’s environment, industries and communities.

In the Arctic, we operate nine onshore fields on Alaska’s North Slope. Our offshore interests in the Arctic are currently limited to areas for exploration. See bp.com/arctic.

Four of our major operations have activities in international protected areas (which includes two pipelines in World Heritage sites), while our shipping fleet sometimes passes through protected areas as part of normal operations.

See bp.com/protectedareas

Four of our major operations have activities in international protected areas (which includes two pipelines in World Heritage sites), while our shipping fleet sometimes passes through protected areas as part of normal operations.

See bp.com/protectedareas

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