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South Africa

South Africa

National Biodiversity and Business Network

Website
www.ewt.org.za

The National Biodiversity and Business Network is primarily business focused, and as such is primarily aimed at, and managed by, the business community. The aim of the network is to facilitate the engagement with various business sectors, industries and related stakeholders to facilitate and assist the integration and mainstreaming of biodiversity into business agendas and operations. It is designed to be an open and inclusive network designed to help raise awareness of biodiversity and sustainability issues amongst the business community and to encourage dialogue amongst stakeholders in this area, as well as to provide pragmatic and practical support to facilitate the mainstreaming process. The Network will assist companies in understanding and mainstreaming the goals of the CBD, other key environmental conventions, the Aichi Targets and the relevant policy and legal framework in terms of biodiversity. It will be a multi-sectorial network but information should be focused upon common issues concerning biodiversity.

While each business sector is different in its needs and approaches, the multi-sector approach allows common elements of concern to be raised and best practices, with respect to biodiversity mainstreaming, across the various sectors to be shared. There should also be some efforts made to address larger sustainability issues and determine how biodiversity fits in with climate change, water and land management, pollution etc.

The primary role of the network is to bring national stakeholders in business and biodiversity together to share ideas and engage in dialogue. In order to achieve this, the network will:
  • Be involved in the development and provision of tools, resources, benchmarks/pilot-studies, and advice to businesses looking to mainstream biodiversity issues.
  • Facilitate the sharing of ideas and best practices with other national and regional initiatives in the Global Partnership, adapting them to particular domestic circumstances as required.
  • Play a key role in encouraging and enabling companies to understand and mainstream biodiversity into their core business.
  • Encourage the member companies (as well as those companies` suppliers, customers, and competitors) to commit to certain measurable actions that will allow them to improve their level of sustainability and reduce their footprint on biodiversity. This commitment should be in line with other sustainability activities such that companies are not subject to a burden of reporting that will undercut the desired effects or discourage smaller enterprises from participating. Ideally, this commitment should be relatively consistent amongst the various national and regional initiatives (although reflecting national issues and economic/environmental situations).
  • Help to raise the level of compliance, if appropriate, of companies with respect to biodiversity/environmental laws and provide technical assistance where feasible and appropriate.
  • Assist in the communication of biodiversity issues and advice on how businesses and related stakeholders can help to deal with these issues while taking into account domestic needs and circumstances.
  • Conduct research work on specific topics related to business and biodiversity (i.e. payment for ecosystems services, biodiversity offsets, strategic management tools, reporting).
  • Provide policy and legal inputs.
  • Facilitate capacity building and training.
  • Facilitate the development and showcase of national benchmark and best practices.
  • Organize events and forums.
  • Organize annual conference.
  • Ensure that a comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue is started around this theme.
  • Set momentum in the private sector regarding the need to mainstream biodiversity into business.

Members of the network:
  • Have access to information regarding business and biodiversity (i.e. payment for ecosystems services and products, biodiversity offsets, policy development around biodiversity legislation, market based instruments for biodiversity, natural capital declaration), including latest studies, papers, event and developments internationally and nationally.
  • Be informed about research outcomes conducted by the Network.
  • Be informed about events nationally and internationally organised around this theme.
  • Have access to trainings sessions organised nationally.
  • Have access to sectoral (i.e. mining, transport, tourism, food industry, property development. media and others) strategic sessions to facilitate businesses in mainstreaming biodiversity.
  • Have access to networking sessions on specific topics relevant to business and biodiversity;
  • Be able to exchange information about their initiatives in the context of biodiversity and business.
  • Have an opportunity to shape the debate and challenges around biodiversity and business in the South African context.
  • Be able to liaise with government and other relevant stakeholders to discuss the policy directions in terms of biodiversity and business.
  • Be introduced to international and national experts.
  • Have access to the annual conference.

The NBBN has managed to secure 7 founding partners: Department of Environmental Affairs; Hatch Goba; De Beers; PnP; Transnet; Nedbank; and Pam Golding. The NBBN also currently has 16 supporting partners.

Contact Information
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Private Bag X11, Modderfontein, 1609, Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel: +27 (11) 372 3600/1/2/3
Fax: +27 (11) 6084682
ewt@ewt.org.za

Contact Person
Dr. Marie Parramon Gurney
Secretariat of the National Biodiversity and Business Network
mariep@ewt.org.za

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme