BHP — the world’s leading diversified resources company — acknowledges that the very nature of their operations impact the environment.
In 2011, Conservation International and BHP launched a global alliance dedicated to preserving land of high conservation value in key regions where BHP operates, while improving BHP’s land and biodiversity management practices.
Conservation International and BHP developed a first-of-its-kind Forests Bond in 2016 to unlock private financing for REDD+, the United Nations program for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Issued by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, the bond gives investors the choice of a cash coupon or a coupon in the form of forest carbon credits. Furthering this work, BHP, Conservation International and the Baker McKenzie Law for Development Initiative recently launched the Finance for Forests Initiative, which seeks to advance the private sector’s understanding of and support for nature-based solutions to climate change.
Conservation International works with BHP to design and implement global conservation projects, together with local partners. In addition, Conservation International provides technical expertise to BHP, helping the company to make informed management decisions regarding its operations and impact on landscapes and biodiversity.
Inform corporate policies and practices
Conservation International is working with BHP to refine and improve the company’s corporate environmental policies, ensuring alignment with best practices. This specifically focuses on compensatory actions, which BHP implements if impacts to important biodiversity or ecosystems cannot be avoided during development. Conservation International is also developing a method to assess the environmental, economic and social values in a given landscape, to help guide and inform BHP’s land-use decisions.
Invest in conservation projects
The alliance is committed to protecting areas of high conservation value around the world. Projects of high conservation priority are selected in the regions where BHP operates and are thoroughly evaluated to ensure their lasting contribution to our global natural heritage. Each project is required to reach a high standard for effective conservation management and will be supported by a sustainable financing mechanism, ensuring benefits to people and nature for many years into the future.
Support climate change efforts
Conservation International and BHP are exploring opportunities to integrate forest carbon into BHP’s broader climate change strategy. BHP supports the REDD+ mechanism, which provides economic, social and environmental incentives for developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and other related activities, through the creation of carbon credits. BHP’s backing of a REDD+ project in Peru’s Alto Mayo Protected Forest supports alternative livelihoods and forest protection activities for residents.
By the numbers
Through the alliance, BHP has invested more than US$ 50 million to conserve more than 620,000 hectares of land in Australia, Chile, Kenya and Peru.
In addition to financing the conservation and ongoing management of critically important natural areas in these countries, these investments have helped to protect 16 threatened species and enhance the livelihoods of 2,500 people.