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07 – Conservation of Biodiversity

ICMM company members commit to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and integrated approaches to land-use planning.

Healthy ecosystems are essential for the health and wellbeing of all life on Earth, but they are deteriorating more rapidly than ever. ICMM members respect legally protected areas. They work to address impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services caused by operations through the application of the mitigation hierarchy, and work towards the ambition of no net loss of biodiversity. This means that the impacts of operations on biodiversity are balanced by measures taken to avoid and minimise the impacts, to restore affected areas, and to offset the impacts so that no loss remains.

Performance Expectations

Developed with extensive input from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations and academics, our Mining Principles establish baseline performance expectations for a responsible mining and metals industry. ICMM's Mining Principles include two Performance Expectations under Principle 7: Conservation of Biodiversity.

  • 7.1 – Avoid World Heritage Sites and Respect Legally Designated Protected Areas

    Neither explore nor develop new mines in World Heritage Sites, respect legally designated protected areas, and design and operate any new operations or changes to existing operations to be compatible with the value for which such areas were designated.

  • 7.2 – Apply Mitigation Hierarchy with Ambition of No-Net-Loss

    Assess and address risks and impacts to biodiversity and ecosystem services by implementing the mitigation hierarchy, with the ambition of achieving no-net-loss of biodiversity.[1]

Supporting Global Goals

As momentum behind the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) continues to grow, there is mounting pressure on the private sector to support the delivery of a wide variety of development objectives. ICMM’s Mining Principles can support the mining and metals industry in addressing climate change, ending poverty and tackling rising inequalities.

Each SDG connects with or can be directly influenced by ICMM’s Mining Principles. Unlike many other sectors, there is no primary point of connection between mining and a single SDG. Instead, operations have the extraordinary potential to contribute to several goals at once. The contribution mining products to almost every aspect of life is arguably becoming more important than ever – with metals and minerals enabling the innovations needed to deliver pathways to a greener, safer and more sustainable future.


1. The ambition of no net loss applies to new projects and major expansions to existing projects that impact biodiversity and ecosystem services.