BirdLife partnership: HeidelbergCement sponsors Spring Alive Campaign 2019
Since 2011, HeidelbergCement has been in Partnership with BirdLife International, one of the largest nature conservation organisations worldwide. Both partners strive to promote and raise awareness about the essential role that quarries can play to support biodiversity via the temporary or permanent nature of the different habitats they comprise. Through the Partnership, HeidelbergCement has offered to sponsor the 2019 campaign of the Spring Alive programme.
Since 2006, Spring Alive aims at creating awareness about the importance and the need to protect migratory birds and their habitats by bringing together communities, especially children, their teachers and families (www.springalive.net). Since 2006, a total of 54 countries and thousands of schoolchildren have participated in the Spring Alive programme, with further dissemination of the content of the projects though digital media. With such a wide audience, the Spring Alive project fits in perfectly with HeidelbergCement’s sustainability strategy to create awareness about biodiversity in its quarries.
Traditionally, Spring Alive has focused on five flagship bird species, which migrate back and forth between Africa and Europe each spring and autumn (the Common Cuckoo - Cuculus canorus, the White Stork - Ciconia ciconia, the Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica, the Common Swift - Apus apus and the European bee-eater - Merops apiaster). HeidelbergCement’s involvement in Spring Alive during 2019 has introduced a sixth migratory bird to the programme, the Sand Martin (Riparia riparia), as it is a frequent visitor in many extraction sites and because of the expertise HeidelbergCement has developed for creating suitable habitats for this species and monitoring it.
During the 2019 season, some of HeidelbergCement’s extraction sites across parts of Africa and Europe will therefore be participating in the Spring Alive Programme in collaboration with the local BirdLife Partners. For example, in Morocco, the BirdLife Partner GREPOM - together with HeidelbergCement’s subsidiary Ciments du Maroc - have selected the Safi limestone quarry to host a Spring Alive project in 2019. Activities will include an awareness campaign for primary and secondary schools on the diversity of birds of the region, the fascinating migration phenomenon and the role that HeidelbergCement sites can play by offering birds a range of suitable habitats. Focus will also be on informing about the importance of preserving biodiversity in general and the ecosystem services it can provide. To do so, GREPOM’s regional Information Centre (located in nearby Oualidia) will be used to gather the children and inform them about what they should expect to look out for in the Safi quarry. Other biodiversity will also be highlighted, for example reptiles which can find suitable temporary habitats available for them in some parts of the quarry. GREPOM’s regional Information Centre will also be ideal to collate the children’s feedback after the quarry visit.
To follow the migration of these extraordinary birds and to find out more about the specific HeidelbergCement / BirdLife projects as they develop over 2019, keep up to date through Spring Alive and via twitter #springalive2019.