Zug – The Nature & Economy Foundation has awarded prizes to several former Holcim quarrying sites. In the former gravel pits and quarries, important refuges for flora and fauna have formed after the withdrawal of man and machines.
Several former quarrying sites of the building materials group Holcim have received an award from the Nature & Economy Foundation for their ecological value. As the company informs in a media release, the gravel plants Sézegnin GE, Bernex GE and Böttstein AG as well as the quarry Gabenchopf AG were awarded on the World Day of Bioversity. The new valuable habitats for flora and fauna created there show that mining activities and species protection complement each other well, they say.
Many of Holcim’s former quarrying sites would now have the status of nature reserves. “Contrary to the clichés about quarrying sites, gravel pits and quarries are oases of biodiversity,” Joaquim Golay of the Nature & Economy Foundation is quoted as saying.
At the quarrying sites, it was precisely the years of human intervention that had done positive things to increase and promote biodiversity. For example, many rare and endangered animal and plant species have become native to the quarries and gravel pits honored by the foundation after the mining activities. In the Gabenchopf quarry, the living conditions are particularly favorable for the biodiversity typical of the Aargau Jura. “This is evidenced by the large population of midwife toads and the numerous yellow-bellied toads, which are among the most endangered amphibians in our country, as well as one of the largest herds of chamois in Switzerland at this altitude, which finds refuge in the quarry to give birth to their young,” the foundation highlights one of the special features.
Holcim has been working for years to implement nature conservation projects at its quarrying sites, the statement said. “We are delighted that our contribution to biodiversity has been rewarded,” Robert Nothnagel, Head of Quarrying Areas at Holcim Switzerland, is quoted as saying about the renewed certification. ce/heg