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Nature

Nature has come to the forefront of global attention as both the significant risks of widespread ecosystem collapse and the opportunities nature holds for addressing urgent social and environmental challenges have become better understood.

Our work focuses on delivering current commitments and developing the metrics, standards and practices needed to maximise the mining sector’s contribution to the Global Goal for Nature. We are working closely with a wide range of organisations and stakeholders, including the IUCN and the Task Force on Nature Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), to help shape a nature positive future for our planet.

Issue at a Glance

  • Nature and biodiversity loss is occurring at an alarming rate. Species extinction rates are 100 - 1000 times the background norm, with a huge acceleration in the last 150 years. Humans continue to exceed our planetary boundaries and over half of the world’s annual GDP is at risk from nature degradation.  
  • Mining is an important driver of development in host countries. It produces essential metals and minerals for the global economy and the transition to a low carbon economy. But extracting metals and minerals, building infrastructure and attracting people to remote areas can have a detrimental impact on the environment.
  • As managers of large land areas and significant water users, we have a duty to act as responsible land and water stewards. This means working with communities, government and civil society to ensure that we manage resources responsibly, and that we support both conservation and fair and equitable benefit sharing from biodiversity and nature.
  • The natural world is extremely complex. Our knowledge of nature, and the best ways of managing it, are constantly evolving. While there are technical challenges in  measuring impacts and gains on nature, applying the mitigation hierarchy remains the primary means of contributing to global efforts to halt nature and biodiversity loss.

Our Priorities

Nature Positive for Mining

We believe that nature positive approaches must be embedded as a way of doing business, as well as an objective to be achieved. We are working with experts within our member companies and from organisations across the globe to develop a roadmap to nature positive for the mining sector and to accelerate action on the ground. This includes sharing and building on learnings to date, as well as identifying new opportunities and innovations for a nature positive future. Our approach takes a holistic view from the mine site into adjacent landscapes, value chains and systemic perspectives in order to truly embed nature positive into business decision making and action on the ground.


Nature Metrics

ICMM is proactively engaging in the development of the TNFD framework, the update of the GRI biodiversity standard, and other multi-stakeholder initiatives to support the development of robust, consistent, pragmatic and credible metrics. We will also be working to identify and address any sector-specific gaps in metrics to support both effective decision-making and transparency.


Building Capability

ICMM members contribute to biodiversity conservation by developing guidance and partnerships to enhance biodiversity management practice for members and the wider industry. Our building capability workstream focuses specifically on supporting the implementation of current commitments and the nature positive and nature metrics workstreams for both our members and others.


World Heritage Sites and Legally Designated Protected Areas

World Heritage Sites are often areas of biodiversity so unique or valuable that no activity should be allowed to compromise them. This is why ICMM believes that mining in World Heritage Sites is not compatible with biodiversity conservation and why our members have made a landmark commitment to neither explore nor develop new mines in World Heritage sites.

In addition, members commit to respecting legally designated protected areas, and ensuring that the design and operation of any new mines or changes to existing operations are compatible with the value for which the areas were protected.