The FINANCIAL -- On December 19, HeidelbergCement and GIZ held closing event for Public
Private Partnership Project (PPP) “Promotion of Biodiversity through
Restoration of Quarries”. Project targets - promotion and protection of biodiversity at the five HeidelbergCement Georgia quarry sites has been successfully brought to a close.
The project, headed by Dr. Michael Rademacher (Manager Biodiversity and Natural Resources) and Tina Gölzer (HTC Global), took place in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. “Our aim was to promote and protect biodiversity at all of HeidelbergCement Georgia’s quarry sites, as well as improving the acceptance of modern approaches to nature conservation and promoting an exchange of information on restoration methods," said Tina Gölzer. Local implementation of the project was handled successfully by HeidelbergCement Georgia – with support from Group Environmental Sustainability and HeidelbergCement Technology Center Global. The planning office A.G.LN - Dr. Tränkle, developed the after-use concepts and Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs), along with a monitoring programme and mapping of the sites.
“As part of the three-year project, a local cooperation network was set up with representatives from government, the business community, NGOs, associations, local residents, tree nurseries and universities,” added Tina Gölzer. “The cooperation partners met regularly to share their knowledge and ideas. At the same time, numerous articles were published, presentations were held at conferences and workshops were carried out at the cement plants and at the Ilia State University on the topic of “Modern and environmentally friendly after-use methods”.
In order to promote biodiversity, modern after-use plans and concepts were devised – some of which have already been put in place. This involved the development of restoration methods in line with the HeidelbergCement Biodiversity Guideline. The result: extraction plans were drafted, biotopes, fauna and flora along with specific local habitat characteristics and use structures in and around the sites were mapped, information was collected on legal requirements, two theses were handed in at universities and surveys were conducted among the local population. Moreover, BAPs and a monitoring programme were developed for all of the quarry sites.
Implementation of the concepts then began in 2011 and 2012, with partial restorations completed at the Kavtiskhevi, Kaspi and Gardabani quarries. “In Kavtiskhevi and Gardabani, we planted a hedge along the steep faces for erosion protection and security, and as a wind break and a so called stepping stone, e.g. for bird species,” said Tina Gölzer. “In Kaspi, we created a largely flat landscape as pastureland with fruit trees for the local population. Plenty of standing ponds are meant to serve as watering places, as well as providing islands and stepping stones for animals and plants.”
Until the end of September 2012, geomorphological work was ongoing there to shape the landscape, create a pond and distribute seed across the prepared ground. From mid-October onward, shrubberies were put in for wind protection and fruit trees were planted. In order to ensure that all of the planned measures will be further implemented in the future, five-year plans and a coordination concept were developed for the quarries, and a contact person appointed for each. In consultation with the relevant ministry, all of the measures, as well as the overall restoration concepts, are to be set out in a written agreement by the end of this year.
“The PPP project was successful on multiple fronts,” concluded Tina Gölzer. “It contributes to growing and protecting biodiversity at our quarrying sites in Georgia, as well as promoting environmental education, supporting learning about modern after-use methods and – just as importantly – raising public awareness about nature conservation.”