On World Biodiversity Day, we’re showcasing some of the important work our teams around the world are doing to protect ecosystems and minimise biodiversity impacts where we operate.
On Groote Eylandt in Australia’s Northern Territory, the home of our GEMCO operation, particular care is needed to protect the island’s unique biodiversity values. It’s free from many threatening species found on mainland Australia, like cane toads, which have caused widespread ecological devastation in the country. While the focus of GEMCO’s biosecurity and quarantine program is cane toad management, it also works to prevent threats like domestic and feral cats and invasive weed or grass species.
An integral part of the program is our partnership with the Anindilyakwa Land Council and the ALC Land and Sea Rangers, where we fund a Quarantine and Biosecurity Officer who manages a professionally trained sniffer dog, Edna. Edna inspects high-risk freight, vehicles and materials entering Groote Eylandt for our GEMCO operation, as well as community freight delivery and sea transport services.
Colombia has the greatest diversity of bird species in the world, making up around 20 per cent of all birds globally. At our Cerro Matoso operation (CMSA), the surrounding forests are home to more than 300 different species, with many classified as ‘threatened’. To protect and maintain these populations, CMSA plants thousands of native trees every year. More than 60,000 were planted last year as the team continually adds to the 1000 hectares of conserved forests around the operation. CMSA has also implemented a program where our people act as voluntary observers, registering photos of their biodiversity sightings via on online platform. Since the program’s launch last year, more than 320 observations have been registered.
The South West of Western Australia is one of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots. Over half of the region’s 6000 plant species can't be found anywhere else, and it’s home to a number of threatened flora and fauna species, including the Chuditch, Woylie, Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo, Quokka, Western Ring-tailed Possum and the Numbat.
Operating in such an important part of the world, our Worsley Alumina operation supports a number of programs and initiatives to maintain and improve the region’s biodiversity values. Some of these include: