At SPO, we understand that maintaining and enhancing biodiversity is critical to the maintenance of a resilient natural environment and there is a need to protect and enhance the ecosystems that we operate within and impact upon to help nature flourish.
Various inputs to our operations such as fuel oil, paints, ballast water, food and packaging, cargo packing materials, lubricants and chemicals are vital for our operations and inputs such as lubricants and various chemicals help to improve the efficiency of our vessels.
However, these inputs may also result in negative impacts on the biodiversity in the areas in which we operate. Hence, to achieve our goal of sustainable development and in line with global biodiversity regulations, a greater understanding and emphasis of ecosystem resilience is required. There is a need to assess and identify biodiversity issues of concern to eliminate or minimise the adverse impacts on biodiversity. We produced Biodiversity Issues of Concern ("BIC") and a Biodiversity Action Plan ("BAP") for our business to develop understanding of the potential impacts and mitigate them. We also have in place the Biodiversity Standard Operating Procedure ("SOP").
SPO partners with Endangered Species International ("ESI") in South Mindanao, the Philippines, to protect International Union for Conservation of Nature ("IUCN") critically endangered Philippine forest turtles on Mount Matutum. SPO also assists with a programme on mangrove and coastal reef conservation, management and rehabilitation activities in the Sarangani Bay area. For more information see Our Communities section of the report.
Under our "Paraguay Forest Conservation Project ("PFCP"): Reduction of GHG emissions from deforestation and forest degradation" we are helping to tackle the alarming rate of deforestation in Paraguay which also delivers material benefits for climate and biodiversity.
SPO has been the Project Proponent of an internationally registered and independently audited project, The Paraguay Forest Conservation Project: Reduction of GHG emissions from deforestation and forest degradation since 2010. The project is helping to tackle the alarming rate of deforestation in the country and has many benefits for climate, community and biodiversity. This project is managed in partnership with Guyra Paraguay, a not-for-profit biodiversity conservation organisation.
The project targets two areas, namely in San Rafael in the Eastern Region of Paraguay (the Atlantic Forest) and in the Chaco-Pantanal ecosystem in the Eastern Alto Paraguay. Both areas have extremely high conservation value and are highly threatened. These ecosystems are also fundamental to rural and indigenous people. In San Rafael, in the South of Paraguay, the project area covers forests adjacent to the Reserve for San Rafael National Park. This is one of the largest contiguous fragments of forested area left in the country and it is rich in terms of biodiversity. Almost 79% of the Atlantic Forest endemic species present in the country are recorded in San Rafael.
The other project component takes place in Northern Paraguay. The project area lies in the moist transition zone between the Dry Chaco and Pantanal, with strong Humid Chaco characteristics. The project zone is defined by the area supporting the Quebracho-Palm Savannah mosaic.
With the support of the project, trap cameras have been acquired and installed in San Rafael and in the Pantanal to register its local species. Camera traps captured images of a number of animals demonstrating rich biodiversity of the project area. Through the analysis of the camera traps located in Tobich, an individual of Panthera onca (jaguar - jaguarete) species was recorded. The species has a wide range of distribution and globally falls under the category of Near Threatened (NT) according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). This sighting is another testament that the good conservation of the protected project area provides ample shelter space for the animals.