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CBD and Business Engagement

Tools, standards and guidance to companies

There are also numerous publications by various associations, international governmental organizations, NGOs and governmental bodies that have provided tools, standards and guidance to companies in this area in a wide variety of sectors, many of which are listed on this site.

International Finance Corporation

Performance Standard 6
One prominent example is the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Performance Standard (PS) 6, originally issued in April 2006 on Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management. The IFC applies the Performance Standards to manage social and environmental risks and impacts and to enhance development opportunities in its private sector financing in its member countries eligible for financing. The Performance Standards may also be applied by other financial institutions electing to apply them to projects in emerging markets. PS 6 was updated in 2012.

Private-sector collaboration in achieving the goals of the Convention of Biological Diversity

The Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity had been, for some time prior to the tenth Conference of the Parties (COP 10), exploring ways to enhance private-sector collaboration in achieving the goals of the Convention.

COP 8 (Brazil, 2006) addressed the need for business involvement in biodiversity conservation, and COP 9 (Germany, 2008) invited Parties to improve actions and cooperation for the engagement of the business community through public/private partnerships.


In addition, this issue has been raised in other fora, including by the G8 Environment Ministers (Japan, 2008) who discussed ways to promote the conservation and sustainable use of global biodiversity and adopted the Kobe Call for Action for Biodiversity, promoting international cooperation and engagement of the private sector.


The Third Business and the 2010 Biodiversity Challenge Conference (Indonesia, 2009), held in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Business and Industry Global Dialogue, took place in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2009. This conference aimed to strengthen business participation in the CBD processes and was convened as a follow-up to the first and second Business and the Biodiversity Challenge meetings, held in 2005 in London and Sao Paulo respectively. The third meeting saw the issuance of The Jakarta Charter on Business and Biodiversity which also focused on the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity.


Secretariat Strategy and Activities vis-à-vis Business Engagement

Strategy

The CBD Secretariat is pursuing a comprehensive strategy designed to more deeply engage the business community with the Convention, as well as to fulfill the COP 10 and 11 decisions. This strategy will apply beyond COP 12 (2014) and seeks to create a programme of work that can continue to 2020 and beyond, subject to available resources, ongoing COP decisions and other relevant circumstances. The overall framework of the business strategy can be summarized as follows:

  • Helping in the formation of regulation through COP decisions:
    Through support to the COP process it is possible to help shape the regulatory environment that sets the boundaries for what companies can (and cannot) do, as well as helping to create the positive enabling conditions to allow business to act in a sustainable (biodiversity-friendly) manner.

  • Assisting companies to understand and mainstream biodiversity:
    In conjunction with many partner organizations, this involves making the business case to companies and ensuring that they are able to influence their supply chains and procure green products (this latter point also applies to public procurement). This also means ensuring that businesses are helping in the fulfillment of the Aichi Targets and abiding by the requirements of the Nagoya Protocol (with reference to the Aichi Targets, this programme has direct implications for Target #4 as well as significant parts of Goals B and C). In addition, it is also important to ensure that businesses are able to benefit from case studies and best practices from other companies and relevant stakeholders. While there exists a large number of guidelines that focus on individual producers or sectors, there is a lack of overarching guidelines with regard to identifying and reducing these impacts. The Secretariat can help in this area by convening stakeholders to consider an overarching framework such that producers and small companies can effectively respond to the demand that will come down the supply chain from larger companies and governments. In essence, this part of the strategy addresses the issue from both the top down as well as from the bottom up.

  • Facilitating the harmonization of standards and guidelines where possible:
    There are currently a large (and ever-increasing) number of standards and guidelines that while providing good information, can be confusing for companies. In addition, the sheer number of players in this area can be very daunting for companies, and can also lead to wasteful overlaps as well as gaps in coverage and knowledge. By helping to map what exists, and assisting with the harmonization (or identifying best practices) it is possible to make it easier for business to understand and mainstream biodiversity.

Activities

Stemming from these decisions and strategy, and building upon earlier work, the business programme is undertaking a fairly ambitious series of activities (often in conjunction with partners) which are important in helping to raise awareness and mainstreaming of biodiversity and ecosystem management amongst companies as well as driving the business engagement agenda. Specifically, some of the main activities include:

  • Development of the Global Partnership for Business and Biodiversity.

  • Outreach through various international, regional and national meetings and workshops including engagement at Rio+20.

  • Evaluation of Tools and Mechanisms: The Secretariat has been engaged with various partners in efforts to evaluate the effectiveness and use of the various tools and mechanisms. UNEP-WCMC (in partnership with the Secretariat and others) undertook a literature review study on what the various standards and certification schemes available assess and how they address biodiversity protection. This research was published in the CBD technical series number 63 “Review of the Biodiversity Requirements of Standards and Certification Schemes”. The next phase of the work will be available as part of the Technical Series shortly.

  • Sustainable Public Procurement: The Secretariat began a collaborative effort with UNEP-DTIE and ICLEI to look at the issue of biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural capital in public procurement. Some initial work with regard to a survey to governments has been undertaken, and a joint information session on this topic was held during COP 11. The SCBD is further part of UNEP’s Sustainable Public Procurement Initiative (SPPI), a network of governments, businesses and civil society promoting worldwide implementation of SPP and a better understanding of its potential benefits and impacts.

  • Publication of Business Magazine: The Business.2020 newsletter magazine has been published by the CBD Secretariat since COP 8, 2006. Several editions of the Business.2020 magazine have been issued by the Secretariat following COP 10, 2010.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme