Quarrying and wildlife on the agenda at major Westminster conference

Quarrying and wildlife on the agenda at major Westminster conference

September 04, 2014

The minerals industry is set to take centre stage at a major conference on halting wildlife declines.

CEMEX Sustainability Director Andy Spencer will be speaking at the Conference for Nature alongside Sir David Attenborough and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg on Wednesday September 3rd. The conference is being backed by leading conservation groups including the RSPB, National Trust, The Wildlife Trusts and Butterfly Conservation.

The conference, being held at Church House in Westminster, a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament, aims to bring politicians, industry leaders and wildlife groups together to tackle the problems nature faces.

Darren Moorcroft, from the State of Nature partnership, said: “CEMEX is a key partner for us when it comes to creating habitats for nature so it’s fantastic to have them at this conference. The quarrying industry is already doing great things for wildlife, but we want to challenge them to do even more.

“The groundbreaking State of Nature report launched last year by Sir David Attenborough and the country’s leading wildlife groups revealed that 60 per cent of the UK’s native species are in decline. Despite all the work that is being done, wildlife is still in trouble and we need to think bigger if we are going to tackle the crisis nature is facing.

“This conference marks the start of a new way of tackling this crisis, by bringing industry, politician and conservationists together to find game changing solutions. The strength of support this conference has received industry, politicians and conservationists shows the real level of ambition there is.”

Andy Spencer, Sustainability Director, CEMEX UK, said: “As a leading supplier of concrete, aggregates and cement we provide vital building materials for the construction of homes, schools, roads and hospitals in our communities, but we also have a responsibility for the wildlife that share our sites.

“It is continues to be a delicate balance to ensure the needs of the natural and the built environment and one that we must strive to achieve for the benefit of all.

“As a business CEMEX appreciates the framework and structure that key legislation such as the Birds and Habitats directives bring, and that enable an equitable and fair way to ensure all businesses implement minimum standards. However, at CEMEX we aim to do much more, for example, working in partnership with the RSPB in 2010 we launched our 10 year Biodiversity Strategy setting ourselves challenging targets.”

The conference will be attended by figures from a wide range of industry sectors including housing development, water, agriculture, finance, retail, transport and infrastructure.


Notes to editors:

1)    Sir David Attenborough’s address will be live streamed from the conference on the RSPB’s website at https://www.rspb.org.uk/conferencefornature from 10am on Wednesday September 3.

2)    The Conference for Nature is supported by the following partners:
Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Freshwater Habitats Trust, National Trust, Plantlife, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Mineral Products Association, CEMEX, Aldersgate Group, Conservation Grade, Marks and Spencer.

3)    The State of Nature report was launched at the Natural History Museum last May by Sir David Attenborough and the UK’s leading wildlife groups. The report revealed that 60 per cent of UK species are in decline, and ten per cent are threatened with extinction.

4)    The State of Nature report is backed by the following partners:
Amphibian & Reptile Conservation, Association of British Fungus Groups, Bat Conservation Trust, Biological Records Centre, Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, British Bryological Society, British Lichen Society, British Mycological Society, British Trust for Ornithology, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Freshwater Habitats Trust, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Mammal Society, Marine Biological Association, Marine Conservation Society, NBN Gateway, People's Trust for Endangered Species, Plantlife, Rothamsted Research, RSPB, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, The Wildlife Trusts.

For more information and to arrange interviews with any of the partner organisations involved please contact:

Nik Shelton, media officer 01767 693554