The winners of the International Quarry Life Award were honored at a festive award ceremony held in Prague on 9 December 2014.

Almost 400 project proposals from 22 countries were submitted in Edition 2014. 95 projects were then selected for the competition in five different categories: Biodiversity and Education, Innovation and Biodiversity, Biodiversity Enhancement, Raising Public Awareness, and Student Project. The best project in each category was awarded with a cheque for €10,000, while a Grand Prize winner received a cheque for €30,000 as the best overall project.

“This second edition of the Quarry Life Award was a resounding success,” said Daniel Gauthier, Member of the Managing Board of HeidelbergCement, in his welcome address.

“The Quarry Life Award has generated great enthusiasm among researchers, students, environmental associations, and our own employees. The competition and research projects allow HeidelbergCement to improve its biodiversity management practices as well as share best practice examples with the public. The competition clearly augments our collective knowledge about the biological value of mineral extraction sites.” 

Grand Prize winner of the Quarry Life Award 2014 is Herpetological Association NATRIX from Poland for their project on a comprehensive inventory of herpetofauna at the Górażdże limestone quarry.

“This project embodies what the Quarry Life Award is all about. It touched on all aspects of biodiversity enhancement, innovation, stakeholder engagement and raising public awareness. The project is well focused. The field work was perfectly carried out with good recommendations that management can easily follow, " said Daniel Gauthier to the winning team.

"The project shows an excellent scientific approach in combination with a high practicability and good communication aspects. On behalf of HeidelbergCement and the Quarry Life Award international jury, we congratulate you for this outstanding project that will soon become a reference in our sector”.

The international jury was composed of Daniel Gauthier, Member of the Managing Board; Richard Grimmett, Director for Conservation at BirdLife International; Erasto Mark Njavike, Program Manager at Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots in Tanzania; Dr. Michael Rademacher, Biodiversity and Natural Resources Director at HeidelbergCement; and Dr. Ulrich Tränkle, Director of AGLN, a consultancy for landscape planning and nature conservation management.

International winners of the QLA 2014:

The Grand Prize

“A comprehensive inventory of herpetofauna at the Górażdże limestone quarry” by Edyta Turniak, NATRIX Herpetological Association, Poland.

The researchers completed a comprehensive inventory of the reptiles and amphibians living in the Górażdże limestone quarry. They found out that the high degree of biodiversity at the quarry is mainly due to the presence of many amphibian and reptile species. As a consequence, they developed a list of recommended land reclamation practices.

 

Winner in the category “Raising Public Awareness”

“Community engagement framework” by Sophie Malkin, Australia.

This project provided quarry managers with practical and flexible step-by-step guidance on how to promote effective local community engagement based on best-practice techniques and successful global examples.

 

Winners in the category “Biodiversity Enhancement”

“Research of the biodiversity at the Tovacov lakes” by Jan Ševčík, Czech Republic.

The Tovacov lakes offer habitats for many (protected) plant and animal species. To improve the function and quality of these biotopes, and to increase their current biological value, a set of 17 recommendations were developed.

 

“The feasibility of biodiversity enhancements in woodland ground flora around Whatley Quarry” by David Watson, Bath Spa University, UK.

This project examined the feasibility of enhancing woodland ground flora in woodland plantings at Whatley Quarry, in order to improve their biodiversity value.

 

Winner in the category “Innovation and Biodiversity”

“The use of vermicompost as treatment for topsoil to restore biodiversity” by Kwasi Boadu Ntiamoah, Ghana.

This project aims at converting organic food waste – through vermicomposting – into compost that has the power to restore the topsoil in a quarry, and thereby promote biodiversity.
 

 

Winner in the category “Biodiversity and Education”

“Youth view at quarry nature” by Tatiana Trofimova, Russia.

The main goal of the project was to improve youth awareness of biodiversity in quarries through environmental education and raising public awareness. The local community was actively involved in the research project and in the development of a board game based on ecology issues.

 

Winner in the category “Student Project”

“Design and development of suitable spawning grounds for the protection of native amphibians” by Jürgen Reusch, Jessen Grammar School, Germany.

The project studied the potential spawning waters of native amphibian species at the Steinsdorf gravel pit, and addressed demands to preserve biological diversity coupled with the objectives of restoration.