Nature is all life on Earth, together with the geology, water, climate and all other inanimate components that make up our planet.

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Nature Explained

Nature encompasses all living things and their interactions with surrounding physical environments.

Nature can also be understood through a construct of four physical realms – land, ocean, freshwater, and atmosphere.

Degradation of these realms is a critical global challenge, placing the health, wellbeing and livelihoods of people, ecosystems, and our global economy at significant risk. 

The Four Realms


All dry land, its plants, animals, nearby atmosphere, and substrate (soils, rocks).


Connected salty ocean waters, characterised by waves, tides, and currents.


Permanent and temporary water sources with low salt concentration, as well as salt water bodies isolated from oceans.  


The air above land, including gases and particles, extending to life's upper limits.


Reimagining Business as Usual 

Nature is in decline across all four realms, with an average reduction in species populations of 69% since 1970. To put that into context, at least 1 in 5 reptiles have been found to be threatened with extinction, 1 in 4 mammals and more than 1 in 3 amphibians.  

Nature Positive is a global societal goal to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 on a 2020 baseline, and achieve full recovery by 2050 - or in other words, “bending the curve” of nature loss. ICMM’s new commitments are designed to contribute to a nature positive future across our sector’s areas of influence. 

Where We Operate

Mineral deposits are unevenly distributed beneath the Earth's surface and can often occur in locations of higher biodiversity. The impacts of mining activities on nature also depend on the type of minerals or resources being extracted. 

The localisation of nature means that there can be no one-size-fits-all solution for mining in harmony with nature. Instead, different solutions unique to needs of each and every environment need to be considered to reduce impacts and maximise opportunities for nature.


Characterised by their high elevations and harsh environments, mountains can vary from whole ranges to inland cliffs.


Regions with an average air temperature below 10 degrees, these barren and icy regions comprise more than 10 percent of the Earth’s land.


Situated in low-latitudes, these highly diverse forests are characterised by high rainfall, closed canopies and a huge array of tree and plant species.


Typically known for their dry and vast nature with plants and animals that are highly adapted to these extreme conditions.


These ecosystems act as an interface between terrestrial and freshwater realms with surface water present either all or part of the year.


Impacted by strong seasonal rain, these regions are dominated by grasses and large open expanses.


Low density forests that offer intermittent shade, and support a variety of shrubs, grasses and animal habitats.


Only occupying 1-3 percent of the world’s surface, these human-created biomes present low biodiversity but can have a huge influence on surrounding ecosystems.

Member operations

ICMM company members operate over 600 sites in over 50 countries, covering a full range of different environments from the Atacama Desert in Chile to polar regions in Sweden. Collectively they are using their knowledge and experience to promote nature positive action around the world.