The process to conduct a Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Risk Assessment (BESRA) was established to enhance situational baseline on biodiversity data for PETRONAS’ upstream and downstream operations, and reducing the impacts on biodiversity in areas of its operation. The location for this assessment was Open Block SK6-00 in the District of Limbang, Sarawak. BESRA consists of a set of questions and a site visit to the identified locations. The template used is developed in accordance to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards, IUCN Conservation Tools, PETRONAS HSE Risk Matrix, and PETRONAS Technical Guidelines: Environmental Management of Oil and Gas Operations in Tropical Rain Forest. Desktop assessment was made on the demographics mapped against the current practices adopted by the Project Management Team (PMT), as well as identification of existing biodiversity risks, and affected stakeholders. Initial discussion with project owners was held to clarify the Terms of Reference and to establishroles and responsibilities. The BESRA specific scope is divided into five (5) categories. These are (1) General Biodiversity, (2) Protection and Conservation, (3) Management of Ecosystem Services, (4) Management of Living Natural Resources, and (5) Supply Chain. During the site visit, photographs were taken for records purposes and short interviews were held with the project team. One of the key findings are the completed transact lines had been 90% restored to an almost pristine condition before the project begin. It was also discovered that the very small number of blast holes that was overblown could cause severe burn for the plants within its five metres radius from the shot holes. However this would prolonged the restoration process but not totally destrying the area. Awareness and improving the management practices is imperative to improve the situation and support the objectives of this assessment. It can be concluded that PETRONAS’ current practice of conducting 2D-Seismic activity for tropical onshore locations is low-risk due to the PMT's proactive stance. The two broad themes identified as solutions includes the inclusion of biodiversity management plan in current procedures and awareness on the locality of the BES in the area. The results of this initiative indicated that awareness on BES issues have improved significantly and consideration is now given to formalise BESRA as part of the procedure for future seismic studies. Furthermore, it has contributed towards PETRONAS’ data bank on terrestrial biodiversity in the area concerned while verifying biodiversity data contained in the EIA. BESRA can further enhance the organisation's internal capacity in conducting such assessment and empowering the employees to conduct their own assessments for continuous improvement thereby reducing reliance on consultants.

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