Biodiversity where we work

Being good neighbours in Singapore’s narrow straits

Shell carried out an environment impact assessment, including biodiversity surveys, ahead of work to replace a 6,000-tonne section of pipeline in the busy Port of Singapore – an area rich in marine species including corals and sea grasses. The work involved excavating 500,000 tonnes of seabed, which demanded careful management to minimise environmental impacts. We also undertook a thorough consultation process with neighbours and port users to limit disruption. The results and samples were also shared with a team from Singapore’s National Marine Biodiversity programme.

Read the story: Good neighbours in narrow straits

Watch a film about Shell’s involvement in The National Marine Biodiversity programme

Big elephant on pose
Forest elephants in Gabon. Photo credit: dkortephoto.com

Protecting elephants in our areas of operation, Gabon

Shell Gabon is taking action to protect forest elephants in partnership which includes the Smithsonian Institution and Gabonese government agencies. The company operates along the borders of two national parks in the protected areas of Gamba known as the industrial corridor. In this buffer zone, biodiversity is some of the richest among Central Africa’s tropical forest plains, according to studies by the Smithsonian Institution. It also provides a natural habitat for numerous elephant populations. 

Shell Gabon invests, and supports programmes, to preserve biodiversity and protect the elephants. It also runs education and information sessions to teach staff how to behave safely in their presence.

Read more on Shell Gabon website

 

Working with environmental partners in Iraq

At the Majnoon project in Iraq, we have worked with environmental partners Wetlands International and IUCN on development plans to avoid or minimise our impact on the Hawizeh Marshes, a wetland of international importance as recognised by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and to identify opportunities to make a positive contribution to the marshland’s biodiversity and the services it provides to local communities. We have commissioned a biodiversity action plan as part of our preparatory work.

Find out more about the Majnoon oil field

Read about our environmental partnerships

Biodiversity and livelihoods

Colorful reef scene

Working with communities in the Philippines

We are helping local communities in the Philippines conserve part of the world’s most biodiverse marine environment, known as the Coral Triangle. Traditionally, coastal villagers have depended on fishing for their livelihood. However, overfishing has depleted stocks while illegal fishing techniques using dynamite or cyanide pose some of the greatest threats to coral reefs. A programme funded by Shell through Malampaya Foundation is helping thousands of fishermen to adopt alternative sources of income, helping fish stocks to replenish, and supporting efforts to conserve the coral.

Visit Malampaya Foundation to read more about the programme

Supporting livelihoods and raise environmental awareness in Malaysia

The seas off Sabah in Malaysia are particularly rich in yellow-fin tuna. As development of the Malikai deep-water offshore energy project continues, Shell and the Sabah Department of Fisheries are working to enhance fishing stocks for local fishermen in alternative areas. They also run awareness sessions for fishermen on planned activities connected to the project. 

Find out more about the Malikai deep-water project 

Once-barren land on Hazira Peninsula

Restoring the land in western India

A once-barren 1,200-hectare area of land on the Hazira Peninsula in western India now thrives with flora and fauna as the result of an eco-restoration project initiated by Shell and its partners. The land, located close to the Hazira LNG Terminal and Port joint venture, is also providing an extra source of food and income for local residents.

Read the story: Hazira coastline gets new lease of life

Helping protect the oceans

Flex the grey whale in the ocean
© David Weller

Helping protect western gray whales in Russia

Shell and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN - one of our environmental partners) have been working together since 2004 to minimise the impacts on western gray whales at Shell’s joint-venture operations at Sakhalin, Russia. Under the guidance of the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel – a panel of 13 prominent scientists convened by IUCN – we have worked to reduce the impacts that phases of our operations may have on the whales and their habitat. In 2005, we rerouted pipelines away from the whales’ feeding grounds. 

Read the story

Read about our environmental partnerships

maryjane waru

Observing marine mammals 

We are involved in several research programmes to increase understanding of marine mammals and their behaviour, and find ways to avoid disturbing them when working in marine environments. For example, in Brazil Shell funded research for more than a decade into the behaviour of humpback whales in the South Atlantic. In Colombia, marine mammal observation resulted in rare sightings of calf sperm whales. 

Read the feature story: A close encounter in the Caribbean

In New Zealand, Shell is working with Māori communities and supporting community members to become internationally accredited marine mammal observers working on seismic survey vessels. 

Read about Maryjane Ngaone Waru of Ngāti Rāhiri hapū, the first Māori to complete the training

Watch a short film featuring Maryjane

A remotely operated vehicle at a Shell drilling site. The vehicle is lowered to its target depth in a cage, and then released. It drives with its lights and cameras on looking for animals to film at depth intervals of 150m (500 feet).

Shining new light on life in deep water 

Shell is partner in the SERPENT project, a global collaboration between ocean scientists and the deep-water oil and gas industry. Research institutes benefit from free access to the industry’s remotely operated underwater vehicles, and the help of their operators in researching life thousands of metres beneath the ocean surface. At the same time, Shell gains a better understanding of how our operations and marine life coexist at the bottom of the sea.

Read the feature story: Secrets of the deep

Helping conserve and restore

The boreal forest which surrounds Shell’s oil sands project

Land reclamation and conservation in Canada

The Athabasca oil sands lie in an area of Canada’s northern boreal forest that is rich in wildlife and plant species. Before starting operations at our Muskeg River Mine in 2003, we put in place a plan to manage the site through a process known as reclamation. In reclamation we work to return the land to a condition where it can support wildlife and plants similar to those that were there in the area before mining. We developed the plan using expertise from scientists and traditional environmental knowledge of the area.

Read about land reclamation at Muskeg River Mine

Find out about our land conservation work in Canada

oyster shells in nets and spades

Oyster conservation and restoration in the USA

Oyster populations are vital to the health of Louisiana’s estuaries which flow into the Gulf of Mexico. They filter nutrients, fine sediments and toxins from the water. They also improve  water quality and protect shorelines. Oyster conservation and restoration is one of the funding priorities of the Shell Marine Habitat programme, a partnership between Shell and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

In New Orleans, Shell supported a pilot project encouraging restaurants to recycle oyster shells. The shells are cleaned and placed along the Gulf shoreline, where they become fertile grounds for new oyster crops.

Read the feature story: From the oyster bar to the sand bar

Find out about our environment programmes in the USA

blue whale in the sea

The incredible journey of Flex the Whale

A young whale’s remarkable migration across vast ocean distances has led scientists to a new understanding of the world’s grey whales.

Discover more about life beneath the waves

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Our approach to biodiversity

We apply stringent mitigation standards when working in critical habitats rich in biodiversity and important to the conservation of endangered species.

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