Scientific Consultative Committee

SCCSCC meeting with Ambatovy

Ambatovy is a responsible company operating in a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot. The mine is situated to the south of a large expanse of indigenous forest containing many unique plants and animals. As part of the mine permitting process, the company made significant commitments to protect the environment and to assist Madagascar in its conservation efforts.

To help the company fulfill its promises, a Scientific Consultative Committee (SCC) was formed. This committee is an independent group of experts who volunteer their time to provide impartial advice to ensure that these environmental commitments are being met. In the interests of transparency, they also help us demonstrate to other stakeholders that we are doing what we said we would do. Our environmental program includes specific flora and fauna monitoring activities, forest protection work, ecological restoration and reforestation of mining activities, and safeguarding of ecosystem services to ensure sustainable use for the local population (e.g. clean water, timber, medicinal plants and food).

The SCC’s mandate is to help us:

  • Put in place adaptive, state-of-the-art environmental management plans to ensure compliance with the highest national and international standards throughout all of Ambatovy’s phases (Construction, Operations, and Closure);

  • Avoid, minimize, and mitigate environmental impacts and compensate for unavoidable residual impacts through the implementation of a multi-faceted biodiversity offsets program;

  • Anticipate and manage environmental risks through stakeholder engagement, public consultation, open communication, and addressing new and emerging environmental risks.

Committee Members

Established in 2009, the SCC the committee is composed of 14 national and international professionals highly recognized in their respective fields:

  • Andriamahenina, Fenosoa BioGuinea Foundation ,
    As Executive Director of Tany Meva, Madagascar, he has been a Member of the SCC from 2009 to 2013. Since 2014, he has been leading the BioGuinea Foundation in Guinea Bissau, an Environmental fund dedicated to Conservation and Community Development. Member of the Conservation Finance Alliance, Expert in Conservation Trust Fund Governance and Management and in community development.

  • Fisher, Brian California Academy of Science (CAS),
    Curator at CAS. Expert in the diversity of ants and conservation. He coordinates two laboratories, one at CAS with students and staff, and the other in Madagascar at the Madagascar Biodiversity Center. Member of the SCC since 2009.

  • Glos, Julian University of Hamburg,
    Senior Researcher, Department of Animal Ecology and Conservation. Expert in Madagascan amphibians (frogs) and conservation matters. Member of the SCC since 2015.

  • Kappeler, Peter University of Goettingen,
    Professor and Head of Department Sociobiology / Anthropology, University Göttingen and also Head of Department Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology for the German Primate Center. Expert in Lemur ecology and tropical biodiversity. Member of the SCC since 2009.

  • Lowry, Porter Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG)
    Senior Curator and Director of the Africa & Madagascar Program at MBG. Expert in flora and vegetation of Madagascar, Offsetting and Mitigation, and the application of taxonomic information to conservation planning and management. Member of the SCC since 2009.

  • Neame, Peter Independent consultant,
    Ecologist/Environmental Design and Planning Specialist and Principal Environmental Specialist. Expertise in IFC standards and guidelines, and restoration ecology. Member of the SCC since 2009.

  • Partidario, Maria Rosario Instituto Superior TĂ©cnico (IST), Portugal,
    Associate Professor on Strategic approaches to environment and sustainability at the IST in Portugal. Expert in social and environmental assessment and sustainability, community engagement and ecosystem services. Member of the SCC since 2015.

  • Rajaspera, Bruno Conservation International,
    Director of Projects at Conservation International. Expert in conservation and protected areas management and community-based natural resources management. Member of the SCC since 2009.

  • Rakotondravony, Daniel Department of Animal Biology, University of Antananarivo,
    Professor and Laboratory Head for Terrestrial Animal Populations at University of Antananarivo. Expert in mammals of Madagascar. Member of the SCC since 2009.

  • Ramangason, Guy Suzon Madagascar National Parks,
    Director General of Madagascar National Parks (ex ANGAP). Expert in Conservation and Policy. Member of the SCC since 2009.

  • Ratsimbazafy, Jonah GERP (Groupe d’étude et de recherche sur les primates de Madagascar),
    Secretary General of Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche sur les Primates de Madagascar (GERP) and Professor at University of Antananarivo. Expert in lemur ecology and conservation. Member of the SCC since 2009.

  • Reid, John Leighton Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG),
    Assistant Scientist of Restoration Ecology Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development MBG. Expert in ecological restoration. Member of the SCC since 2015.

  • Schwitzer, Christoph Bristol Zoological Society,
    Director of Conservation at the Bristol Zoological Society and Vice Chair for Madagascar Red List Authority and Coordinator of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group. Expert in lemur ecology and conservation. Member of the SCC since 2015.

  • Van der Wal, Mark IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands,
    Senior Ecologist and advisor on extractives at the IUCN Netherlands. Expert in natural resource governance, legal compliance monitoring & CSO engagement. Member of the SCC since 2015.

The various members of the SCC provide Ambatovy with valuable insight and guidance on issues relating to the sensitive environmental and social zones in which we operate. They help enhance our mitigation and offsetting activities, and our contribution to attaining long term and sustainable benefits for local communities and the environment.

SCC Meetings are held once every 2 years in the November/December period. Usually held at Ambatovy’s offices in Antananarivo, the workshop extends for 3-4 days with a visit to the Mine, Plant, or one of our offset sites, depending on the specific objectives of the meeting. The group’s role is to provide strategic and technical advice, as well as feedback, on Ambatovy’s biodiversity and ecosystem services management strategies, in terms of both planned and implemented actions. The SCC helps guide Ambatovy in our effort to achieve no net loss, and preferably a net gain, of biodiversity while ensuring socioeconomic benefits for our local communities.