Biodiversity and Business
While businesses are important actors in the protection of biodiversity, they were not included in the COP 10 Convention on Biological Diversity, reports the Guardian. Under the current framework, there is no defined role for businesses in discussing and creating international policies. But as the main drivers of natural resource use and shapers of markets and consumption trends, businesses have an important role to play in biodiversity conservation. They can partner up with governments to stop and even reverse the current loss of biodiversity through setting targets and sustainably using natural resources.
Six businesses (Natura, Rio Tinto, Fibria, Weyerhaeuser, Volkswagen and PwC) were profiled in case studies in a report that was released at Nagoya that shows how voluntary actions such as setting standards and third party certification can help protect biodiversity. The Business Responding to the Biodiversity Challenge profiles a further 28 companies with environmental policies that support the core principles of conservation, sustainable use and equitable benefit sharing. A list of biodiversity proposals from the international business community are on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development website. The proposals call for closer collaboration between business and policy makers, policy and regulatory reforms, and biodiversity goals for the business community.
Both governments and businesses need to transition away from current subsidies that undermine biodiversity objectives. Many current targets are vague and accountability is lacking on both sides. With the improvement of green accounting, national approaches for valuing ecosystems and thinking of ecosystem services in terms of economic policies forces private and public sectors to make biodiversity protection more effective. By bringing businesses to the table, governments are helping to lessen the negative impact and helping to ensure the future of our world’s biodiversity.