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  • Last updated

    7:14pm on Feb 03, 2023


We at Sibanye-Stillwater, recognise the importance of our role in the protection and preservation of all life as a part of our broader ESG strategy and environmental vision to promote our natural resources and improve life.

What is Biodiversity?

Biological diversity (biodiversity) means the variety of life (plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms) that can be found in and around our operations as well as to the natural communities that they form and the habitats in which they live (our rivers, ridges, grasslands and wetlands etc.)

Convention on Biological Diversity

The United Nations enforced the Convention on Biological Diversity on the 29th of December 1993 in order to provide for the protection of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components associated with biodiversity and use of genetic resources.

The United Nations declared the 22nd of May the international commemoration day for biological diversity to recognise and reflect on the importance of biological diversity in terms of every aspect of human activities, from the support of essential human services to the promotion of economic activities.

Bighorn sheep
african bullfrog
Zambezi river


South Africa’s role in conserving

South Africa, a contracting party to the Convention on Biological Diversity, is fortunate to have a wide variety of organisms living in equally varied habitats, many only found in very specific areas of South Africa (endemic). It is considered one of the most diverse countries globally.

It therefore comes as no surprise that this year’s ‘Our Solutions are in Nature’ theme is specifically appropriate to South Africa where our natural resources play a vital role in economic and social development and in the upliftment of impoverished and isolated communities through large-scale environmental tourism.

These services are often provided in a silent environment that works to our benefit, however all services come at a cost and the one exacted from the environment is the need to conserve our biological diversity and the ecosystems that support this in order to ensure we are able to live up to the National Development Plan’s goal of: “to protect the natural environment in all respects...”

Biological diversity Sibanye-Stillwater

As Sibanye-Stillwater we have so much to celebrate from Bighorn sheep around the Stillwater operations in the US, playful African Bullfrogs in the wetlands surrounding our SA operations to amazing Marula trees providing us with shade, shelter and an endless sanctuary for insect and bird life.

We recognise the importance of our role in the protection and preservation of all life as a part of our broader Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy and environmental vision to promote our natural resources and improve life.

We are dedicated to moving beyond compliance to focus on all aspects related to biodiversity management in line with the goals of the Convention on Biological diversity to ensure present and future generations may also benefit from this invaluable resource.

Did you know?

  1. Wetlands and rivers help us to improve water quality and controls flow so as to reduce the risk of flooding and act as sponges for water to support life and human activities deep into drought conditions
  2. Plants, the ocean and soils are natural carbon sinks helping us to mitigate the impacts of climate change
  3. The genetic diversity on the planet allows us to develop medicines, enhance resilience in food production and forms key parts of industrial processes.

Crinum Bulbispermum
River birds
ZAmbezi river


What can YOU do to support Biodiversity?

  1. Balance: “Our solutions are in nature” emphasises the need to reflect on our actions in order to find harmony with nature that provides the resources that support us.
  2. Information: Stay informed and ask what you can do to contribute. Take it upon yourself to open up a conversation with your colleague ask what role you can play. You can read up more in our annual reports and fact sheets as well as through the national and international wealth of knowledge available freely online.
  3. Observe: Take note of your surroundings, your actions and those around you.

What can I do on the mine?

  1. Avoid sensitive areas such as wetlands and ridges when undertaking any activities – ask your environmental representative if you are unsure
  2. Minimize your impacts by ensuring your activities (waste management, mining, maintenance, etc.) are undertaken as per the required environmental procedures;
  3. Assess the impact you are making by observing the changes to the environment – contact your environmental representative to guide you on what to look for in terms of plants, animals, water, air and land resources.
  4. Manage, mitigate and rehabilitate the impacts that have been caused from your activities – such as cleaning up any spills, ensuring stormwater systems are maintained, remove alien and invasive plants, and maintaining dust management systems.

Respect our values and acknowledge good practice…question poor practice …you can help us make a difference.

For more information on the Group’s efforts on biodiversity, biomonitoring and other environmental actions, please refer to:

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World Wetlands Day 2021

Wetland bursting with flowers in the Eastern Cape homelands

On 2 February 2021, we celebrated World Wetlands Day - join us to learn more about wetlands and the need to conserve them.

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