Conservation and Biodiversity
Biodiversity conservation is regarded by The Navigator Company as the key to environmentally responsible production and sustainable forestry management.
The Navigator Company has developed a ground-breaking strategy for conserving the wildlife and heritage sites in the extensive woodlands under its management.
This model consists of:
- Assessment of wildlife, biodiversity and heritage sites
- Mapping of Conservation Interest Areas
- Assessment of the potential impact of operations
- Design and implementation of mitigation measures
- Annual monitoring programmes
To support this strategy for conserving biodiversity, the Company has drawn up Biodiversity Assessment Techniques Manuals (BATM) and Conservation Action Plans (CAP), with contributions from experts and environmental NGOs.
Areas of High Conservation Value
Around 10% of the forests under the Company's management have been classified as Conservation Interest Areas.
The most significant of these qualify as High Conservation Value Areas (HCVA) under the FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) certification scheme. This designation reflects their exceptional environmental, social and cultural value.
In view of the scale and scattered location of the Company's forestry holdings, the approach to identifying these values was originally developed in a project with the WWF Mediterranean Programme, with the help of conservation experts.
This project classified High Conservation Value Areas at the local scale around rare, threatened or endangered ecosystems, critical areas for protecting river basins, for soil conservation and for the traditional cultural identity of local communities.
FSC® license code: FSC C010852
The Company's active policy of wildlife conservation is clearly reflected in the following achievements:
- The extent of the woodlands managed with the aim of conserving biodiversity (10% of its forestry holdings are designated conservation interest areas).
- The protection, active conservation and rehabilitation of natural habitats, and consequently the species using them for their ecological functions of feeding, shelter and breeding.
- Identification, mapping and conservation of habitats and species of fauna and flora with conservation status as part of the Rede Natura 2000 and the National Protected Areas Network projects, exemplified by the protection of the Bonelli's eagle, a bird of prey classified as under threat in Portugal.
- Adoption of conservation management measures developed with held from experts and integrated into the forestry management model.
- Raising wider awareness of conservation issues by sharing experience and case studies in periodicals, publications or media events.
By building its conservation strategy into its forestry management model, and thanks to its work on preserving habitats, the decision not to use genetically modified organisms and efforts to eradicate invasive species, the Company is able to draw on rich store of data on the values to be preserved in its woodlands holdings, ensuring that the direct and indirect negative impacts on biodiversity are minimized and the positive impacts exploited to the full.