Sustainable Development: IUCN Assists Holcim to Conserve Biodiversity

15 February 2008 | News story

Holcim Viet Nam, an affiliate of a world-leading building materials supplier, Holcim Group and IUCN Viet Nam signed a five-year agreement on February 15, 2008.

The partnership enables the two parties to join efforts to conserve a unique ecosystem at the company’s production site in Viet Nam and promote good environmental practices across the cement industry and related sectors in Viet Nam.

In February 2007 Holcim and IUCN signed a global Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of cooperation between Holcim and IUCN. In the spirit of the global MoU, IUCN Viet Nam and Holcim Viet Nam started discussions for cooperation in November 2007, with IUCN staff visiting Holcim sites to gauge the conservation needs of the company’s production sites.   

Field visits to Holcim facilities in Kien Giang Province identified two projects. The first project focuses on “Integration of corporate environment and social responsibilities (CESR) across the Holcim chain in Viet Nam.”  The second project concerns “Integrated karst [landscape] management in the Ha Tien plains that are close to the Holcim site”.  

Implementation of the first project commenced immediately after the signing of the agreement. The second project started in early this March with the development of a master plan for integrated karst management, which includes eco-tourism, in Hon Chong. The IUCN mission team will be working in Hon Chong until early April to finalize the plan.

At the end of the mission, IUCN expects to develop a detailed project document based on consultation with various stakeholders including the local government (commune, district and provincial levels), the Institute of Tropical Biology, the International Crane Foundation, and community members from Mo So Cave. Presently, the main component of the project is to construct a pilot project for eco-tourism in Mo So Cave.  This is a biodiversity hot spot and a historical heritage site from the French and American wars.

IUCN has received enthusiastic support from the local government and community for this project. Soon, a Project Steering Committee will be established with representatives of Kien Giang Province People’s Committee, its related departments, local community members, Holcim Viet Nam, and IUCN Viet Nam. The project is expected to gain approval by the end of 2008.  Project implementation will begin in early 2009.

For more information on the collaboration between IUCN and Holcim Ltd., please contact Mr. Vu Minh Duc at duc@iucn.org.vn