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bp introduces new position on biodiversity

Release date:
5 June 2020
To coincide with World Environment Day, bp has pledged new measures to help restore, maintain and enhance nature in recognition of the action needed to strengthen biodiversity

We've published our position paper today setting out new aims to achieve a net positive impact on biodiversity in our new projects and to enhance biodiversity around our existing major operating sites.


Our chief executive officer, Bernard Looney, says: “Today opens a new chapter in our approach to biodiversity. Because, along with climate change, loss of biodiversity is one of the greatest threats the world faces.”


And, we are explicitly defining ‘no-go’ areas for bp operating new oil and gas exploration and production, including inside the official boundaries of:

  • UNESCO World Heritage sites; or 
  • Strict Nature Reserves or Wilderness Areas, as defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and designated on 1 January 2020.  

Bernard’s view on LinkedIn

“For bp, biodiversity is more than just an ‘add-on’. It is a vital part of our purpose to reimagine energy for people and our planet.” 

bp’s new position was developed with the help of international nature and conservation organizations and experts, including Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, UNESCO and IUCN.

Putting these new policies into action will require help, says Bernard. “We are looking to establish partnerships with global and local conservation organizations to support us as we move forward.” 

We intend to work transparently, disclosing progress in key areas and welcoming support and challenge from investors, academia and conservation organizations.

While bp is extending and strengthening its position, it has been integrating biodiversity into its practices and decision-making for more than 15 years.  

Examples of existing sustainability projects :

Wildlife management at Cooper River, US

Located on the outskirts of Charleston, South Carolina, bp’s Cooper River chemicals plant is surrounded by dense forests and wetlands featuring a rich ecosystem of plants and animals indigenous to the Lowcountry. The site operates a biodiversity plan that covers forest, wildlife management and supporting community environmental education and initiatives. Examples include wildlife and marine species enhancement plans, such as the red cockaded woodpecker recovery programme, and supporting the rebuilding of a nesting habitat for pelicans and other endangered birds.

Wetland creation and citizen science at Cherry Point, US

Our refinery at Cherry Point in Whatcom County, Washington State, owns approximately 3,500 acres of land, but only 650 are used for its operations. The remaining land consists of agricultural fields, wetlands, forests and marine shoreline of the Strait of Georgia. bp restored 50 acres of surrounding degraded wetlands and created a further 22 acres, which act as important habitats for the conservation of local bird and amphibian species. In 2013, the refinery completed its first year of the Citizen Science Project, with local volunteers surveying the ponds in the wetland areas for amphibian egg masses, and this has been repeated annually since then.

No net loss in biodiversity at Tangguh, Indonesia 

To meet its commitment of achieving no net loss in biodiversity, the Tangguh expansion project, part of bp’s liquefied natural gas plant located in West Papua province, is undertaking a range of measures to help protect and restore biodiversity on the site. This includes the translocation of bird nests to safe locations, the relocation of threatened species of lizards and amphibians, and the collection, propagation and replanting of orchids and endangered species of rain forest trees. The project is also committed to undertaking regular monitoring and studies on the unique marine environment within Bintuni Bay.

Marine conservation in São Tomé and Príncipe

In São Tomé and Príncipe, in Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, where bp has won exploration rights, we have been helping to improve knowledge and understanding of the presence and movement of marine mammals and sea turtles in the region, which was identified as a potential knowledge gap during early screening discussions for planned offshore activities. Humpback whales are regular visitors to the islands and, in 2018, a marine mammal and sea turtle baseline monitoring and data collection programme was initiated offshore. Fieldwork was completed in 2019 and final reports are currently being finalized, with efforts now turning to sharing the study findings externally. bp has also been supporting a sea turtle conservation programme run by local NGO Programa Tatô. As part of its project to protect and monitor nesting populations, last year, bp supported Programa Tatô with the tagging of green and hawkshill turtles to track the movement of these animals across the west African coast. 
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