Setting the benchmark with Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia: IFC PS6/EBRD PR6

In partnership with Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and local partners, The Biodiversity Consultancy helped the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia towards meeting the requirements of International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standard 6/European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Performance Requirement 6. This resulted in the first publicly available complete PS6 documentation, which has set a benchmark for other large infrastructure projects. The documentation, available in biodiversity appendices to the environmental social impact assessment, includes a Critical Habitat assessment, Net Positive Impact forecast, detailed impact and mitigation plan, and biodiversity offset strategy, and resulted in IFC and EBRD funding for the project.

The Oyu Tolgoi project is a large development in an area of high global biodiversity conservation value and has a number of unavoidable residual impacts.To accommodate this complex situation, we expanded its in-house Performance Standard 6 methods to incorporate a high-level of detail and expert consultation: this ensured the confidence of multiple project lenders.

The Biodiversity Consultancy and FFI developed risk baselines through a rapid biodiversity assessment on the ground. We fed these baselines into a Critical Habitat assessment that outlines the key project biodiversity risks, and an Impact Assessment that quantifies potential negative effects on key biodiversity. Together with FFI, we developed infrastructure-specific plans to guide mitigation during the project’s construction and operations phases, and assessed the scale and type of biodiversity offset activities necessary to compensate for potential residual project impacts through an Offset Strategy and Net Positive Impact forecast. The Biodiversity Consultancy's sister organisation, Global Biodiversity Conservation, continues to work with the Oyu Tolgoi project to help implementation of its Biodiversity Strategy.