Ecology and Biodiversity
- Permitting and financing a new project
- Demonstrating regulatory compliance
- Managing project risks (i.e. schedule, regulatory, financial and reputational risks)
- Ensuring operational sustainability
- Improving environmental outcomes
- Demonstrating a commitment to biodiversity values
We collaborate with clients and project engineers during all stages of project development to ensure that biodiversity considerations are fully integrated in a timely, economic and technically viable manner. Our assessments ensure that biodiversity issues are adequately considered, and appropriate measures are recommended to avoid, minimize, rehabilitate / restore and offset any potential impacts.
- Flora and fauna baseline studies
- Specialist aquatic and terrestrial surveys, data management and interpretation
- Ecological impact assessments
- Biodiversity Action Plans / Biodiversity Management Plans
- Biodiversity offset strategies / programmes
- Biodiversity monitoring
- Rapid ecological assessment
- Strategic environmental assessment
- Habitats Directive Assessment
- Critical habitat assessment (e.g. for IFC P6 compliance)
- Economic forestry assessment and planning
- Invasive species assessment and management
- Ecosystem services and resource use assessment
- Habitat rehabilitation and restoration
- Stakeholder engagement
Flora and Fauna Baseline Studies
We specialise in the design and implementation of terrestrial and aquatic ecology baseline studies that are tailored to the requirements of a project and associated biodiversity risks. We work closely with a network of in-country specialists and, where necessary, international specialists to ensure the provision of high quality, up-to-date information.
Specialist Aquatic and Terrestrial Surveys, Data Management and Interpretation
Our team of ecologists are skilled in the development, delivery and interpretation of targeted surveys of key aquatic and terrestrial taxonomic groups, habitat mapping and habitat condition assessment. We also provide training and support services in the use of survey equipment, survey techniques, data management and analysis as part of capacity building programmes and initiatives
Ecological Impact Assessments
Earth Systems’ integrated and comprehensive assessments and our extensive experience in a range of ecosystems and species allows us to confidently predict direct and indirect Project-related impacts and risks at every stage of project development. Earth Systems applies the mitigation hierarchy to ensure that adverse project-related impacts are avoided, minimised, restored or rehabilitated where required.
Biodiversity Action and Management Plans
The multi-disciplined team at Earth Systems specialises in developing all-inclusive or stand-alone Biodiversity Action Plans and/or Biodiversity Management Plans. Specific plans are often required for a project to demonstrate a commitment to avoid, mitigate and compensate for potential impacts on ecology or biodiversity. Plans will be tailored to the project needs and the specific issues to be considered
Biodiversity Offset Strategies / Programmes
Biodiversity offsets are measurable outcomes that benefit biodiversity by compensating for significant residual adverse impacts of a Project. Earth Systems can provide technical and practical support to design and implement offset strategies / programmes that meet particular project needs. Where required, these programmes can be integrated into a Biodiversity Management Plan.
Our team of ecologists are experienced in the development of pragmatic and cost effective monitoring and evaluation programmes to assess the efficacy of biodiversity management measures and offsets to inform the requirement for adaptive management. We identify the most suitable and practical approach when designing monitoring programs, taking into consideration the biodiversity values of the site, seasonality, planning criteria / guidelines and biological and non-ecological indicators.
Rapid Ecological Assessment
At Earth Systems we understand that it is crucial to be time and cost efficient, but also to maximise information obtained, and therefore we offer Rapid Ecological Assessments to our clients. A Rapid Ecological Assessment provides a “snap-shot” of an area’s species assemblage and/or habitat condition from primarily remote data and information. The assessment maximises the use of GIS and remote sensing, databases, published literature and any previous field surveys that have been undertaken.
Strategic Environmental Assessments
A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a systematic decision support process to ensure that environmental and other sustainability aspects are considered effectively in policy, planning and/or programming. SEAs are commonly undertaken for World Bank operations, including for the mining sector. Earth Systems are able to provide a wide range of SEA services including institutional, sectoral and multi-project SEA.
Habitats Directive Assessment
Earth Systems is able to provide assessment reports compliant with the EU’s Habitats and Species Directive (92/43/EEC), including assessment of project impacts on Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas (designated under the EU Birds Directive, 2009/47 EC) and Ramsar wetlands. Our staff have significant experience in these types of assessment.
Critical Habitat Assessment
Earth Systems works closely with companies to assist in ensuring alignment with IFC and World Bank biodiversity guidelines and standards. We have capabilities and experience in undertaking Critical Habitat Assessment (CHA) as per IFC Performance Standard 6 (IFC, 2012) to assess areas of ‘high biodiversity value’ and identify the Critical habitat-qualifying features.
Economic Forestry Assessment and Planning
Earth Systems provides a range of forest assessment and planning services, ranging from rehabilitation of degraded forest to promote restoration of native habitat, through to silvicultural applications that promote viable and sustainable timber harvest operations and/or ecosystem services.
Invasive Species Assessment and Management
Earth Systems have worldwide experience in providing professional advice regarding the control of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species. Our management plans cover all stages of project planning, implementation and long term monitoring and provide tailored recommendations on the most effective management measures.
Ecosystem Services and Resource Use Assessment
Ecosystem Services are generally defined as “the benefits people derive from ecosystems” with the recognition that ecosystems are intrinsically linked to human wellbeing. Ecosystem services are generally considered to include the four categories of provisioning services; regulating services; cultural services and supporting services. Earth Systems can provide a range of services related to ecosystem services and resource use assessment including baseline studies and assessment of impacts on ecosystem services such as water supplies, forest resources and food sources.
Habitat Rehabilitation and Restoration
Earth Systems is highly experienced and skilled in designing, planning and implementing habitat rehabilitation and restoration on large and small-scale projects. Our ecologists, engineers and environmental scientists can provide a wide range of rehabilitation and restoration services, including preparation of Rehabilitation / Revegetation Plans, wetland design and rehabilitation of contaminated land.
Stakeholder consultation and engagement is often critical to Project design and success. Earth Systems can assist your company in ensuring appropriate disclosure and engagement with the right stakeholder groups. We have experience in leading consultation programs with government authorities, NGOs and local communities to identify and address any issues and ensure the best possible project outcomes.