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Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and Rio Tinto have worked successfully in partnership since 2003. Our collaboration strives to integrate best practice management of biodiversity and ecosystem services into Rio Tinto’s decision making processes.
This work continually pushes the boundaries of mining best practice through pioneering initiatives for maintaining healthy functioning ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods.
Together, FFI and Rio Tinto seek to develop new approaches to biodiversity conservation within the corporate sector. These approaches work across disciplines (including ecology, sustainable livelihoods and extractive industry) to minimise the ecological impacts of operational activities.
The partnership helps Rio Tinto identify and manage environmental risks and recognise conservation issues during exploration and project operations. Our work also aims to influence the mining sector and governments to conserve biodiversity and improve the livelihoods of communities in regions where extraction takes place.
During our long-term partnership, FFI has worked with Rio Tinto to:
The partnership has also been influential in our wider involvement in landscape level planning in Namibia’s uranium-rich Erongo Province, home to Rio Tinto’s Rössing Uranium mine. FFI is working with the Ministry of Mining and Environment to minimise the impacts of the country’s uranium mining.
FFI’s biodiversity and geographic information systems (GIS) experts are investigating the challenges and potential solutions of offsetting environmental damage in developing countries using the case study of Namibia’s Central Namib Desert. Any solutions will incorporate important issues such as landscape connectivity, socio-economic constraints, land tenure, extractive industry footprints and community conservation projects.
FFI is providing Rio Tinto with the tools to manage risks related to biodiversity globally. We are also supporting capacity building and stakeholder engagement for Rio Tinto’s Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia. This will help build the local environmental team’s understanding of ecosystem services issues in the South Gobi Desert and how best to manage them.
FFI will continue to provide technical advice to improve Rio Tinto’s operations and challenge the mining sector and governments more broadly to have a positive impact on ecosystems and livelihoods.