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  • Michael Small, Project Manager, CIRIA

The BIG Challenge 2016

With construction and development essential for continued economic growth, it is crucial that the current upward trend does not come at the expense of the natural environment. Further awareness of the relationship between natural systems and a strong economy has led to organisations developing plans and strategies that integrate both economic and environmental targets. An essential part of an organisation meeting environmental targets is to ensure that biodiversity becomes an integrated part of construction planning and projects. At present there is still some uncertainty surrounding incorporating biodiversity into projects with many viewing it as a topic only suited to technical experts. This is where the BIG Biodiversity Challenge plays a unique role, allowing organisations to reach environmental targets whilst raising awareness and training members of staff. The challenge has a simple message of ‘do one thing’ for biodiversity which demonstrates that enhancements can be simple, affordable and achievable. These biodiversity enhancements can range from installing bat boxes and bug hotels through to detailed action plans and management strategies. Now in its third year the challenge has continued to grow with new award categories launched to reflect the dynamic nature of the industry and focusing on the core areas of infrastructure, urban development and mineral extraction. The 2016 award categories include: • Client Award • Community Engagement Award • Large Scale Permanent Award • Medium Scale Permanent Award • Small Scale Permanent Award • Maintenance & Management Award • Pollinator Award • Temporary Award The BIG Biodiversity Challenge is free to enter and the deadline is August 8, with the 2016 awards ceremony taking place on September 15 in a central London venue. There are also fantastic sponsorship opportunities for organisations wanting to be involved in this year’s Awards ceremony.

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