Quarry Life Award: 2016 international winners revealed
On 8 December 2016, the winners of the International Quarry Life Award were presented in Brussels. This was the third edition of this bi-annual competition established by HeidelbergCement to explore innovative ideas to promote biodiversity at quarry sites. More than 450 proposals from 21 countries were submitted in 2016, of which 94 were selected for the competition in different categories: Habitat and species research, Biodiversity management, Education and raising awareness, Beyond quarry borders, and Student project.
The winners are:
Grand Prize (30,000 €): Linking quarries and surroundings by restoration ecology for semi-aquatic mammals: The Grand Prize was awarded to a Spanish team led by Dr Rocío de Torre Ceijas. The project investigated the ecological connectivity of waterbodies in gravel quarries, and how to enhance this connectivity to the quarry’s surroundings for a positive effect on biodiversity. The researchers used otters as a bio-indicator because of their habitat needs.
International prizes by category (10,000 €):
Habitat & species research Arthropod & earthworm diversity as a bio-indicator for reclamation success: Around the world, reclamation success is often solely measured on the growth of planted vegetation - which does not give a full picture. To improve this, a project team in Indonesia investigated the use of arthropods and earthworms as bio-indicators of habitat complexity to evaluate the success of woodland creation activities in the Hambalang quarry. Project leader: Wahyudi Nelvianto, Indonesia
Student project Nature only works if we do it together - Students “understand” insects and biodiversity: This community project saw a group of pupils from Evangelische Grundschule Holzdorf learning about wild bees and their role in the ecosystem. Through the project, they built a bee hotel, tended a wildflower meadow and developed an information board about bees with the help of recovering addicts from HEPORÖ GmbH. Project leader: Elisabeth von Campenhausen, Germany
Biodiversity Management Optimizing wetland functions to local conditions in connection to quarries: At the Cementa Degerhamn limestone quarry, this project analyzed the effectiveness of an artificial pond and adjacent wetland at retaining water and nutrients from water pumped outof the quarry back into the alvar landscape Based on their studies, the team made recommendations for developing a multifunctional wetland focusing on nutrient retention and the resultant positive effect on biodiversity. Project leader: Emma Svahn, Northern Europe
Education and Raising Awareness Biodiversity in space and time: This project had a two-pronged approach: first, to assess the habitats and biodiversity of the Pechurki quarry; second, to attract public attention and raise awareness of biodiversity conservation activities. To achieve this, the team delivered more than 70 eco-lessons, performed quarry tours, attended conferences, engaged with the media, created an animated video and even organized their own essay and photographic competitions. Project leader: Yanina Dmitrakova, Russia
Beyond quarry borders Stepping ponds - enhancement of connectivity for amphibians in riverside gravel pits: This project evaluated the potential of gravel pits to improve and increase landscape connectivity for amphibians, one of the most globally threatened taxa due to diminished habitats. The team made recommendations on creating corridors to connect water bodies; how to inhibit the spread of the invasive exotic red swamp crayfish and advice to foster the natterjack toad population. Project leader: Daniel Gómez de Zamora Martínez, Spain
Further information: http://www.quarrylifeaward.com/news/2016-12-09-2016-international-winners-revealed