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WGRI Recommendation

. Business engagement

3/2.Business engagement

The Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention recommends that the Conference of the Parties at its tenth meeting adopt a decision along the following lines:
The Conference of the Parties,
Noting the importance of the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services, including for sustaining businesses and the private sector,
Noting also the progress achieved in engaging businesses and the private sector for integrating biodiversity concerns into corporate strategies and decision-making, in accordance with objective 4.4 of the Strategic Plan for the period 2002-2010,
Recognizing the progress made in integrating biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in business operations, and commending companies that have demonstrated commitment and leadership in this regard,
Realizing the need to incorporate biodiversity concerns into existing and emerging private sector initiatives and operations,
Emphasizing the interest and capacities of private enterprises, including small and medium-sized enterprises, in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as a source for future business operations, and as a condition for new business opportunities and markets,
Recognizing the importance of drawing on the capacities of business and private enterprise,
Recognizing the important role of Governments in enhancing the engagement of the business community in achieving the three objectives of the Convention,
Recognizing also the importance of ethical, scientific, socio-economic and ecological approaches for addressing biodiversity challenges,
Welcoming the third Biodiversity and Business 2010 Challenge Conference in Jakarta and noting the report provided in the meeting documentation,
Welcoming the Global Business of Biodiversity Symposium organized in London in July 2010,
Noting the potential role of civil society, including non-governmental organizations, scientific organizations, and other stakeholders, in influencing business practices and in facilitating a modification of consumer behaviour as well as of societal expectations,
Building on existing activities and initiatives under the Convention related to business and biodiversity, as well as those of other entities, such as of the private sector itself,
Noting the importance of the findings and recommendations coming from ongoing relevant work on the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services, such as from the Green Economy Initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme, and, inter alia, the reports on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), for further analysis of the issue, for the development of a more common understanding, and for improved and strengthened communication with the private sector as well as within the business community,
Recognizing the relevance of existing developments and work processes under various forums, including relevant international organizations, such as the Green Growth Initiative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development , the proposed green economics theme for the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the Marrakech Process on Sustainable Consumption and Production supported by the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Secretariat, the Biotrade Initiative of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, as well as existing initiatives that promote corporate social responsibility and the greening of supply chains,
Recognizing the opportunity and need to incorporate biodiversity objectives into emerging new green development initiatives,
Noting also the need for dialogue between Parties, business representatives and other stakeholders, at national, regional and international levels,
1.Invites Parties:
(a)To promote a public policy environment that enables private sector engagement and the mainstreaming of biodiversity into corporate strategies and decision-making in a manner that contributes to the achievement of the three objectives of the Convention;
(b)To create conditions that facilitate private sector engagement, inter alia and as appropriate, for: transparent reporting against which to assess implementation; independent assessments; and terms and conditions for partnership initiation and termination;
(c)To develop principles for incorporating biodiversity into business practices that take into account existing developments under various forums, including relevant institutions and non governmental organizations, such as the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Biotrade Initiative of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Nippon Keidanren, the Business and Biodiversity Initiative initiated at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;
(d)To support the establishment of national and regional business and biodiversity initiatives and to strive towards a global partnership on business and biodiversity by inviting ongoing initiatives and other interested stakeholders to be part of the business and biodiversity initiative, and to take note of the Jakarta Charter;
(e)To develop, and report on, national activities that promote and facilitate the mainstreaming of biodiversity by business, such as through regulations and, as appropriate, economically and socially sound incentive measures, national biodiversity strategies and action plans as well as national reports;
(f)To develop ongoing dialogue with the business community in relation to biodiversity considerations and activities;
(g)To encourage involvement of businesses as stakeholders in any future revision and implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans;
(h)To adopt, as appropriate, sustainability criteria for government purchases of products of biological resources;
2.Encourages businesses and the private sector:
(a)To contribute to the implementation of the Convention as well as its Strategic Plan 2011 2020 and its targets, and refer to is, as appropriate, for defining concrete and measurable biodiversity targets for their operations;
(b)To assess impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services, including the consideration of related risks and opportunities, and of how this may affect their activities, and to develop and apply processes and production methods that minimize or avoid negative impacts on biodiversity;
(c)To take into account, as appropriate, the Akwé: Kon Voluntary Guidelines for the Conduct of Cultural, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment regarding Developments Proposed to Take Place on, or which are Likely to Impact on, Sacred Sites and on Lands and Waters Traditionally Occupied or Used by Indigenous and Local Communities;2
(d)To share and adopt lessons learned between and among business and enterprises, including small and medium-sized enterprises;
(e)To survey available best practice within relevant industries, and to consider how specific skills, expertise and influence can be mobilized and shared in order to minimize and avoid negative impacts on biodiversity;
(f)To participate in voluntary certification schemes which promote the three objectives of the Convention;
(g)To adopt commitments to support the achievement of the three objectives of the Convention, for instance, through the approaches set out in the Jakarta Charter and other initiatives at both national and global levels;
(h)To use clear and measurable criteria or indicators as a means to track implementation of these commitments in a transparent manner, by means of voluntary declaration;
(i)To engage wider efforts to promote business engagement in the achievement of the three objectives of the Convention and its new Strategic Plan, such as the Business and Biodiversity Initiative initiated at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, and the Jakarta Charter, as a step to highlight their commitment to the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity;
(j)To develop and maintain an ongoing dialogue with Governments on how best to contribute to the achievement of the three objectives of the Convention;
3.Requests the Executive Secretary, subject to the availability of resources and in collaboration with relevant organizations and initiatives, such as those mentioned in paragraph 1 (c) above:
(a)To encourage establishment of the national and regional business and biodiversity initiatives by facilitating a forum of dialogue among Parties and other Governments, business, and other stakeholders, with a particular focus on the global level;
(b)To compile information on existing tools that can further facilitate the engagement of businesses in integrating biodiversity concerns into corporate strategies and decision-making, such as, inter alia, business-operating principles for biodiversity conservation, indicators of conservation efficiency, and methodologies/techniques/tools for the valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, to analyse the effectiveness of these tools in relevant economic sectors, and to make this compilation and analysis available to national focal points and all relevant stakeholders, through the clearing-house mechanism of the Convention and through other means;
(c)To encourage the development and application of tools and mechanisms that can further facilitate the engagement of businesses in integrating biodiversity concerns into their work, such as, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, certification, verification, the valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, incentive measures, biodiversity offsets, etc.;
(d)To also encourage monitoring of the effects of tools and mechanisms applied in accordance with paragraph 3 (c) above;
(e)To disseminate, through the clearing-house mechanism and through other means, tools and examples of best practice for encouraging the participation of business, including small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs);
(f)To encourage businesses that endorse the objectives of the Convention and its Strategic Plan 2011-2020 in communicating their biodiversity-relevant activities to their consumers, customers, and other stakeholders;

Annex

The Jakarta Charter

We, the participants attending the Third Business and the 2010 Biodiversity Challenge Conference, held in Jakarta from 30 November to 2 December 2009,
Deeply concerned that resilience of ecosystems and their capacity to adapt remain under serious threat worldwide, and noted that climate change is a threat and requires focused efforts to protect biodiversity,
Stressing that sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity together with ecological restoration offers growing business opportunities while addressing climate change through instruments such as that on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD plus) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
Emphasizing the need to incorporate biodiversity risks and opportunities into business strategies and mainstream biodiversity and ecosystem services into business policies and practices,
Acknowledging the ongoing work of the UNEP Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study that was presented at the Jakarta Conference,
Recognizing the progress made over the past decade in integrating biodiversity conservation in business strategies and commends companies that have demonstrated commitment and leadership in this regard,
Noting the critical importance of tenth meeting of the Conference of Parties, to be held in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010, and its objective of setting the global agenda for action for the next decade,
Have agreed as follows:
1.The value of biodiversity and ecosystem services needs to be better reflected in economic models and policies, bearing in mind that sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystem services are a source for future business operations as well as a condition for new business opportunities and markets;
2.Mainstreaming biodiversity into business needs to be enhanced through voluntary corporate actions as well as market-oriented enabling policies and approaches such as the Green Development Mechanism, international standards and certification systems and related initiatives. In this context, State-owned corporations can also play a leadership role in supporting the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity by incorporating biodiversity into their operations and procurement policies;
3.Integrating biodiversity into business can also contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development especially through joint ventures with the indigenous and local communities;
4.The concept of no-net-loss of biodiversity and net-positive impact, as articulated by the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme, is a practical framework for assessing efforts to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity;
5.Improving the quantity, quality, availability of biodiversity data to facilitate business decision making and action that will support biodiversity conservation and sustainable use;
6.Increasing awareness and education of consumers, investors and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other stakeholders regarding biodiversity;
7.To scale up existing innovations and champion good practices, tools, etc., on a comprehensive capacity-building scheme oriented towards competence enhancement for critical decision-making and action-taking, addressing all stakeholders;
8.Supporting the establishment of an intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services to play an important role in ensuring that biodiversity becomes and remains a priority for public- and private-sector decision makers;
9.It is imperative to work together for creating a public-policy environment that encourages greater private-sector engagement and mainstreaming of biodiversity into corporate strategies and decision-making for achieving the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity and having Governments commit themselves to internalizing sustainable sourcing in their procurement policies, thus demonstrating leadership by example;
10.A visionary and effective Strategy to Advance the 2020 Business and Biodiversity Agenda, focusing in particular on the scaling up of successful approaches for mainstreaming biodiversity into business operations to be considered by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its tenth meeting, to be held in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010;
11.Improving the commitment and leadership of the private sector will be vital for the implementation of the Strategic Plan of the Convention for the period 2011-2020 as well as the post-2010 biodiversity targets;
12.Building on the experience of the last three Biodiversity Challenge Conferences, there is a need for a multi-sectoral global forum on business and biodiversity for promoting dialogue and partnerships between Parties, representatives of business, civil-society representatives and other stakeholders to advance the implementation of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its new Strategic Plan;
13.The first global forum on business and biodiversity may be convened as soon as possible and no later than the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity;
14.Businesses are encouraged to express their commitment to the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity by endorsing the Jakarta Charter on Business and Biodiversity and participating actively in the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, in conjunction with which a International Business and Ecosystems Day, being co-organized on 26 October 2010 by International Union for Conservation of Nature, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Nippon Keidanren with the support of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, will provide a further important opportunity for the engagement of business in supporting the core objectives of the Convention;
15.To thank the people and Government of Indonesia for hosting the third Business and the 2010 Biodiversity Challenge Conference.
Jakarta, 2 December 2009

2 Decision VII/16 F, annex