Development & implementation of a scientific project for the conservation of endemic species - Quarry area in Araxos, Achaia

Development & implementation of a scientific project for the conservation of endemic species - Quarry area in Araxos, Achaia


Heracles Group is Greece's largest cement producer and has been serving the market for more than 100 years. The Group is operating in the industry of cement production and marketing, aggregates and concrete in Greece and in more than 20 countries. 


Read more:  www.lafarge.gr


Objective Action

Mining raw materials from quarries is an important activity for our products. With a special rehabilitation program for each quarry, our goal is to give back areas with more biodiversity elements in accordance with those existing before the intervention, as well as to improve the landscape that emerged after the intervention. The Aggregates business entered into cooperation with the Botanical Institute of the University of Patras and the National Botanical Conservatory of Brest (CBNB), in order to rehabilitate the Araxos quarry, through the development of local plant species, some of which are protected.


Target Audience

Local stakeholders and general public



2010 -


The company operates an aggregates quarry in the Prefecture of Achaia, in the region of Araxos, inside the “National Park of Wetlands of Kotychi – Strofylia”. In April 2010, a cooperation agreement was signed between our aggregates business, the Botanical Institute of the University of Patras and the National Botanical Conservatory of Brest (CBNB) for the rehabilitation of the Araxos quarry. The program concerns the protection of significant local plant species in the broader area of the quarry, as part of the company’s Sustainability Ambitions and specifically the quarries management and the biodiversity enhancement program. The company applies the Lafarge Group methodology, which defines standards for the screening of all quarries in regards to biodiversity and the assessment of those in sensitive areas (a sensitive quarry is a site located in or within 500 meters of an internationally protected area – Natura 2000 Natura 2000, RAMSAR, IUCN !-VI).

Centaurea neideri is a rare Greek endemic plant growing in the Araxos quarry, which is subject to special protection under the EC Habitats Directive and the Bern Convention. For safeguarding the future of this species, a two-part program was implemented. The first stage (April 2010 – August 2013) concerned the development of a plan for the preservation of the rare endemic plant Centaurea Niederi. The second (September 2013 – December 2014) concerned the specification of the rehabilitation plan, and specifically the investigation, detection and the development of the necessary conditions, which will allow the seeding, the growth and the propagation of the endemic plants in the flora of the quarry’s rehabilitation area.


Impact on Society

In 2013, nearly three years since the start of this scientific project -and within the quarry’s active area- there were 1,140 thriving well plants of Centaurea niederi. The plants’ growth is monitoring by the project’s scientific team (professors from the University of Patras and botanists from the Botanical Conservatory of Brest) and the project’s success reaches 98% (survival rate). The successful course of the program affirms the compatibility of operating quarrying activities with protected areas. This is of course under the condition that the assessment of environmental consequences and the proposed program for the environmental rehabilitation have been designed after taking into account the guidelines of experts with a high academic specialization (universities, environmental institutes etc). The biodiversity enhancement program in Araxos quarry received a special award in the European awards “UEPG Sustainable Development Awards 2013”.

Initiative Location

Aggregates quarry in the Achaia Prefecture, Araxos area, inside the “National Park of Wetlands of Kotychi – Strofylia”

Working with Organization

- Botanical Institute of the University of Patras
- National Botanical Conservatory of Brest (Conservatoire Botanique National de Brest), France

Workers Participation

Araxos quarry aggregates employees and Aggregates business managers

Benefits for Οrganization

This pilot program is a starting point for all quarries of the aggregates business, regarding the further development and implementation of the biodiversity preservation program and the protection of natural heritage. Thus, the successful course of this scientific program contributes to the development of best practices for the rehabilitation of quarries in environmentally sensitive areas and their contribution in biodiversity management.

Connection with Global Goals

No Connection with Global Goals found

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