Quarry exploitation is inherently an economic activity. The related impacts on nature conservation have sustained great criticism among ecologists and nature enthusiasts. However, recent awareness of the impacts on biodiversity encouraged the attainment of common goals between industry, stakeholders and ecologists. In this session we address the questions: Can business and biodiversity be paired? What does the future hold for ecologically responsible industries? Does it pay to be green? We intend to provide insights from actors working inside these questions trying to make economy greener and sustainable industries. Overall, we aim to find means and alternatives to value ecologically responsible exploitations.
A well planned restoration of highly degraded areas, like quarries, could be seen as an opportunity for the improvement of a strategic network linking natural and semi-natural areas, thus benefiting biodiversity and ecosystems services at local and broader scales. The development of a European Green Infrastructure (GI) will further encourage a more sustainable and resource efficient development process (in line with Europe’s 2020 Strategy), providing environmental, economic and social benefits through natural solutions. The challenge of this session is to discuss and define strategies in quarry restoration that comply with GI targets, namely, deliver a wider range of ecosystem services, protect biodiversity, and foster human well-being. What are the contributions that quarries can provide to the GI? How to implement sustainable and resource efficient processes of quarry restoration that maximize GI? Is it possible to build joint initiatives of networking to assist wider land use management?
Now more than ever, the need to move towards sustainable exploitation is a concern that brought together both stakeholders and ecologists to safeguard natural values. Restoration ecology is a recent topic in conservation biology aiming to reverse degradation and restore ecological balance. This session will begin to address the need to focus on degraded areas restoration and how to potentiate their biodiversity value and natural services. We intend to discuss different strategic issues that may enhance biodiversity differently and contribute to distinct outcomes: Should we always aim for naturalness or potentiate novel elements in the landscape? Should restoration be active or passive? Should the focus be on species restoration or processes?
Bridging the gap between theory and practice is a pivotal issue in restoration ecology enabling knowledge to move forward. Stakeholders and ecologists have been pioneers in exploring strategies, developing alternatives and implementing actions in field. The assessment of such practices has often limited reach in the scientific community because of its local scale. This session targets to report recent case-studies of quarry rehabilitation aiming to preserve or enhance biodiversity at local or landscape scales. It will provide general and specific actions underpinned by recent developments and innovative approaches in applied ecology and natural engineering. Overall, contributions on the conservation of biodiversity in quarrying and mining sites will be highlighted with strong focus on management practices and on-the-ground actions.