Biodiversity consultancy

Our specialist consultancy skills are most relevant in that controversial grey area where large scale industrial projects (such as oil & gas and mining developments) and wildlife conservation sensitivities overlap.

Specifically we provide assistance with:089-001

– Working independently with and on behalf of Lender institutions, conservation NGOs, government agencies and responsible businesses,  at global, national and site levels.

– Guiding, developing and managing projects wherever wildlife and humans interact, when biodiversity, sustainability and environmental issues can come into conflict .

– Focussing on attainment of best practice and implementation of the mitigation hierarchy at appropriate levels and project phases, especially with regard to avoidance and management of impacts on biodiversity related to oil & gas, mining and renewable energy development.

– Acting as Independent Expert on a variety of global development projects, performing due diligence and compliance with implementation of IFC Performance Standards.

One of our current areas of focus is acting as an Independent Expert, monitoring biodiversity & conservation issues related to a variety of global developments seeking to meet IFC Performance Standard 6, i.e. Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources. This requires attention to a suite of diverse compliance issues including landscape and local-scale biodiversity offsets, ecological impact avoidance, reinstatement/regeneration, biodiversity monitoring, invasive species management and the avoidance of situations where induced access might occur.

Specific roles undertaken within the last few years include:

– Independent Expert (Biodiversity & Natural Resources) undertaking IFC Due Diligence on behalf of the Lender Group for a major alumina mine, rail and port facility project, focusing on ecological impacts & mitigation (Guinea).

– Independent Expert (Biodiversity & Natural Resources) undertaking IFC Due Diligence on behalf of the Lender Group of the major LNG project in Mozambique’s Offshore Area-1, focusing on terrestrial ecological impacts & mitigation (Mozambique).

– Independent Expert (Biodiversity & Natural Resources) on behalf of the Lender Group for the ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG project,  focusing on ecological management & monitoring, offset design & implementation, reinstatement & re-vegetation, invasive species management, and controlling induced migration (Papua New Guinea).

– Independent Expert (Biodiversity) for the Lender Group for the Newmont Ahafo South gold mine, focusing on ecological management & monitoring, restoration and re-vegetation, and invasive species management (Ghana).

– Project management of a pre-feasibility stage biodiversity assessment of tropical forest and villages in an area designated for iron ore surface-mining development, including ecological baseline surveys, bush-meat studies, sensitivity analyses, and initial development of biodiversity offset and monitoring plans (Republic of Congo).

– Chair of the Business and Biodiversity Offset Programme (BBOP) Assurance Working Group, the primary responsibility of which was the development of the BBOP Standard on biodiversity offsets.

– Technical editing of IUCN offshore renewable energy industry guidelines, to inform policy and practices for minimising and managing environmental aspects.

– Independent review of a suite of oil development EIAs, to assess progress made in raising standards and capacity within the impact assessment process, including recommendations and areas for further improvement (Uganda).

– Writing and production of a modular, interactive training DVD, to build capacity in oil operations, EIA, impacts and mitigation associated with oil development, and stakeholder consultation. Featuring full commentary, a reference library and links to websites.

– Development, provision and facilitation of several EIA training courses (including field-visits to operational oil drilling sites) for local government environmental and planning officials involved in EIA, with special emphasis on monitoring and auditing (Uganda).

– Creation and provision of capacity building training courses for EIA Practitioners, focussing on operational impacts and mitigations associated with oil development (Uganda).

– Development and facilitation of multi-stakeholder workshops on scoping oil-related Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), and civil society engagement in the EIA process (Uganda).

– Development of a mechanism to assess, document, and monitor how environmental impacts from oil and mining development are managed, and how civil society is engaged in the process. Included development of a current baseline assessment (Norway, Uganda and Madagascar).

– Development of a field-based evaluation questionnaire tool to ensure the continuing quality of WiSe Scheme accredited marine eco-tourism operator trips (UK).

– Organization and facilitation of a multi-stakeholder workshop to develop priorities for a Sensitivity Atlas for oil development and spill response (Uganda).

– Research and development of a suite of partnership development opportunities to optimize the management of environmental aspects in the commercial and leisure marine sector (UK).

– Initial exploration of how biodiversity offsets could be used for wildlife conservation gain in vulnerable areas undergoing oil exploration (Uganda).

– Developing and providing class and field-based training to staff from Government departments & agencies, NGO’s and oil companies on environmental impact assessment, specifically focusing on impacts and mitigation associated with oil development (UK and Uganda).

– Leading a review of oil exploration practices in Uganda, the EIA approval process and several individual EIAs, leading a Government agency capacity building fieldtrip, and undertaking drilling site audit visits to identify implementation of mitigation actions (Uganda).

– Identifying the status (legal, technical, financial) of the potential for Carbon Dioxide storage in offshore geological reservoirs (north-east Atlantic).

– Review of several annual Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) during consultation for oil licensing (UK and Ireland).

– Writing and presenting papers at OSPAR Convention meetings, and official Observer to OSPAR’s Offshore Industry Committee (north-east Atlantic).

– Representation on several National SEA Steering Groups for Offshore Energy (UK) and Offshore Oil & Gas (Ireland).


Community dialogue session, Papua New Guinea