Implementation of early minimisation

3. Implementation of early minimisation

For the biodiversity element(s) for which the KBA has been identified, minimisation measures are adopted as early as possible, even before the disturbance occurs.


How can the World Database of Key Biodiversity AreasTM help? The World Database of Key Biodiversity AreasTM can help identify existing threats to the biodiversity trigger elements that could be worsened by the project’s impacts. Furthermore, information on the behaviour and ecology of the trigger elements can help identify effective minimisation measures.


More about this guideline

With avoidance, biodiversity impact minimisation is the other preventative stage of the mitigation hierarchy. It refers to the measures taken to reduce impacts (including direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts, as appropriate) that cannot be completely avoided, as far as is practically feasible.

Whereas avoidance removes the potential of project impact by positioning or timing of the impact activity, minimisation acts to reduce the severity (through its extent, intensity, or duration) of an impact. There are three types of minimisation actions (often termed ‘controls’) that are generally used by industry (CSBI, 2015). These are:

  • physical controls: redesigning project infrastructure to reduce the intensity and likelihood of impacts (e.g. bird flight diverters on transmission lines);
  • operational controls: implementing operational management procedures that govern the actions of project employees and contractors (e.g. reducing speed of project vehicles to minimise risk of impacts on wildlife); and
  • abatement controls: activities or project design features that reduce or eliminate pollutants from entering the environment and impacting on biodiversity features (e.g. carrying out seismic surveys maintaining noise levels below a certain threshold). 

In some situations, minimisation measures can be implemented early on in the project before the disturbance occurs, thus enhancing the chances for successful implementation of mitigation measures, and in particular the amount of residual impacts after avoidance, minimisation, and restoration of impacts.

References and Resources

CSBI. (2015). A cross-sector guide for implementing the mitigation hierarchy. Prepared by the Biodiversity Consultancy on behalf of IPIECA, ICMM, and the Equator Principles Association, Cambridge, UK.