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[Video 4] Habitat and biodiversity management pt.2: Key recommendations

Welcome to the fourth video in our series Environmental law in practice. Click here to visit our content hub to find more information about our team and how we can help.

“Habitat and biodiversity management doesn’t need to be complicated.  There are several measures that businesses can implement at the earliest stages of a project to ensure that a site is developed and managed effectively and in compliance with the legislation”.

Grace Stirrat, Associate, Regulatory & Compliance

Headshot of Grace Stirrat in colour used for quotations

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Habitat and biodiversity management pt2720720

Key points:

Clear Plan and Instructions: Create a comprehensive plan along with written instructions which should be communicated to all stakeholders involved in the project. Effective supervision is essential for ensuring instructions are followed. Supervision can be on a company level or may require the assistance of ecologists. Although it is essential to have a clear plan in place, it is also important to adapt as needed and regularly revisit / develop your plan as the project progresses.

Permits and licenses: Businesses need to ensure all necessary permits, licenses, and permissions are in place before commencing and continuing work.  You should also remember to comply with any post-development requirements (which are common conditions of species licenses). Don’t get caught out as many people overlook this crucial phase.

Habitat Enhancements and Fencing: Consider including habitat enhancements from the outset. Fencing to cordon off specific areas can be beneficial, but it is important to consult with an ecologist to ensure it aligns with the project’s goals.

Training for Operators: Businesses should provide training for on-site operators, so they are aware of their responsibilities. This becomes even more critical when numerous contractors are working on sites where protected species are present.

Responsibility for Biodiversity Management: Each business should identify key stakeholders responsible for the habitat management plan. Whether this will be one individual or a team, someone must oversee the process at each stage – this can include third parties. Continuity planning is vital to ensure oversight throughout and address potential breaches of licenses.

Consequences of Mismanagement: Non-compliance with habitat and biodiversity regulations can lead to severe consequences including criminal liabilities and negative publicity. You should seek appropriate assistance and counsel if issues arise to minimize potential legal and financial exposure.

Habitat and biodiversity management – how we can support you.

Habitat and biodiversity management has become an integral aspect of construction and site-driven projects. By implementing a clear plan, obtaining necessary licenses, and providing proper training, businesses can ensure environmental compliance, protect natural habitats, and avoid harmful consequences and negative PR. We can provide practical guidance throughout the process including supporting you with license applications and providing advice when things go wrong.

If you are undertaking any kind of development project and want to ensure that you avoid any issues before they become incidents – contact our Environmental Issues team for advice and support.

Visit our Environmental law in practice hub to explore more resources.

Rachel
Turnbull

Director

Regulatory & Compliance

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Grace
Stirrat

Associate

Regulatory & Compliance

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