Previous Business Decisions

Fourteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties

Held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2018, the Fourteenth meeting resulted in Decision XIV/3 reinforcing decisions taken at COP13, and building for the long-term approach on mainstreaming with the mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and processing sectors.

Decision (XIII/3) specifically requests the Global Partnership on Business and Biodiversity to:

  • Apply best practices vis a vis environmental impact assessments particularly within the energy and mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and processing sectors.

  • Collaborate with local stakeholders, promote and develop approaches and innovative techniques and tools to conserve, enhance and sustainably use biodiversity within the mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and processing sectors.

  • Review, update and comply with existing legal frameworks to promote the conservation and mainstreaming of biodiversity through the Long-Term Approach to Biodiversity.

    Decision (XIII/3) specifically requests the Secretariat to:

  • Collaborate with public and private partners to develop and harmonize metrics and approaches for businesses to assess, monitor and report on biodiversity impacts and dependencies.

    Thirteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties

    Held in Cancun, Mexico in December 2016, the Thirteenth Conference of the Parties led to to landmark Decision (XIII/3).

    The conference led to the implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan for biodiversity mainstreaming across sectors.

    The conference extended an invitation to private actors in accessing the sector's impacts and dependencies and supporting biodiversity conservation.


    Decision (XIII/3) encouraged Parties to establish national or regional initiatives as part of the Global Partnership on Business and Biodiversity to encourage businesses to generate and assess information on the impacts of their activities and operations on ecosystems.

    Decision (XIII/3) specifically requests the Global Partnership on Business and Biodiversity to:

    Review, update and comply with existing legal frameworks to promote the conservation and mainstreaming of biodiversity through the Long-Term Approach to Biodiversity.

    Take measures to integrate biodiversity reporting into business decision making.

    Strengthen biodiversity considerations & public awareness campaigns in favor of sustainable patterns, production plans and waste reduction.

    Decision (XIII/3) specifically requests the Secretariat to:

    Consult with relevant organizations, businesses and biodiversity initiatives on the provision and harmonization of data and information on biodiversity-related issues across sectors.

    Make available, via the clearing-house mechanism, existing guidance and tools on addressing biodiversity in various sectors.

    Advance, in collaboration with Parties, the typology of actions for reporting on business-related actions.

    Provide draft guidance on the typology of actions, for consideration by the Subsidiary Body on Implementation at its second meeting.

    Twelfth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties

    Held in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea in October 2014, the Twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12), resulted in important decisions on business engagement on biodiversity.

    Decision (XII/10) welcomed the pioneering work on business engagement already undertaken by various Parties.

    Decision (XII/10) encouraged further support and cooperation with the Global Partnership on Business and Biodiversity to help businesses report on their mainstreaming efforts.

    Decision (XII/10) specifically requests the specifically requests the Global Partnership on Business and Biodiversity to

    Invite parties to seek and foster public-private partnerships, in working to create an enabling environment for businesses to effectively implement the objectives of the Convention.

    Support opportunities for capacity-building to small and medium-sized enterprises with respect to biodiversity.

    Integrate biodiversity into business operations, procurement policies and their reporting frameworks.

    Encourages businesses to contribute to the Convention's resource mobilization strategy, and to participate in the UNCTAD BioTrade Initiative and other relevant initiatives.

    Decision (XII/10) specifically requests the Secretariat to:

    Support Parties, (in particular developing countries), in their efforts to promote the integration of biodiversity considerations into the business sector.

    Collaborate with the Global Partnership for Business and Biodiversity and its associated national and regional initiatives to:

    Develop reports on the progress of biodiversity mainstreaming and establish a typology of possible actions.

    Support capacity-building & promote cooperation and synergies for businesses with a view to mainstreaming biodiversity into business decisions.

    Partner with other forums regarding issues that are relevant for biodiversity and business engagement, such as commodity indicators.



    Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties

    Held in Hyderabad, India, in October 2012, the Eleventh meeting resulted in decision (XI/7) which led to new discussion on business and biodiversity, whilst reinforcing existing decisions.

    Decision (XII/7) specifically requests that governments and businesses join forces to:

    Continue dialogue to “formulate relevant actions for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of components & ecosystem services."

    Take action on fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources.

    Within private sector activities:

    Consider integrating & promoting values of biodiversity, ecosystem services and halting policies and financial incentives that lead to biodiversity loss.

    Collaborate with relevant organizations on the development of reporting standards on biodiversity.

    Consider reporting on business impacts to biodiversity and progress made in mainstreaming the objectives of the Convention and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

    Analyze the impacts, dependencies, opportunities and risks of individual sectors as they relate to biodiversity and ecosystem services.

    Align their investments in support of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

    Decision (XI/7) specifically requests the Secretariat to:

    Facilitate dialogue among business, government and other stakeholders through ongoing support for national, regional and international business and biodiversity initiatives.

    Compile information & facilitate engagement on best practices to incorporate all three objectives of the Convention and those of its two protocols.

    Collaborate with large, small, and medium enterprises to raise awareness and understand drivers of biodiversity loss, as well as assess and adopt cost-effective, and effective solutions for managing biodiversity risk.



    Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties

    Held in Nagoya, Japan, the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties issued a strong decision (X/21),, building upon previous COPS and enhancing the engagement of the private sector in the implementation process of the biodiversity targets.

    Decision (XII/7) specifically requests that governments:

    Engage in dialogue with business through the establishment of a Global Platform vis a vis and the mainstreaming of biodiversity into corporate strategies and decision-making.

    Develop, and report on, national activities that promote and facilitate the mainstreaming of biodiversity by business.

    Encourage involvement of businesses as stakeholders in any future revision and implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans.

    Adopt sustainability criteria for government purchases of products of biological resources.

    Decision (X/21/3) specifically requests the Secretariat to:

    Encourage the establishment of national and regional business and biodiversity initiatives by facilitating dialogue among Governments, business, and other stakeholders.

    Compile information on existing tools that can facilitate the engagement of businesses in integrating biodiversity concerns into corporate strategies and decision-making, to analyse the effectiveness of these tools in relevant economic sectors, and to make this compilation and analysis available.

    Encourage the development and application of tools and mechanisms that can facilitate the engagement of businesses in integrating biodiversity concerns into their work.

    Encourage the monitoring of the effects of these tools and mechanisms.

    Disseminate tools and examples of best practice for encouraging the participation of business.

    Encourage businesses in communicating their biodiversity-relevant activities to their consumers, customers, and other stakeholders.



    Earlier Business Decisions

    Decisions of relevance to the engagement of the business sector date back to COP 3 (Buenos Aires, Argentina-1996) where decision (III/6) requested the Executive Secretary to explore possibilities for encouraging the involvement of the private sector in supporting the Convention's objectives. This was reinforced at COP 5 (Nairobi, Kenya–2000) in which decision (V/11) resolved that the involvement of the private sector shall be included, as appropriate, on the agenda of the Conference of the Parties at its regular meetings and be integrated into the sectorial and thematic items under its programme of work. Private sector engagement was also referenced at COP 6 (The Hague, Netherlands–2002) under Goal 4.4 of the (former) Strategic Plan for the Convention on Biological Diversity under which key actors and stakeholders, including the private sector, were to be engaged in partnership to implement the Convention and to integrate biodiversity concerns into their relevant sectorial and cross-sectorial plans, programmes and policies.

    COP 8 (Curitiba, Brazil-2006) saw the first stand-alone decision related to private-sector engagement. Decision (VIII/17) urged national focal points to communicate the importance of biodiversity to companies, to encourage them to adopt practices that support the implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans and the objectives of the Convention and to include private sector representatives on national delegations and nominate them to participate in technical expert groups. The Executive Secretary was requested to compile information on the business case for biodiversity and good practice and to include the private sector as a target audience for its outreach materials. Businesses and other relevant organizations were also invited to develop and promote the business case for biodiversity, to develop and promote the wider use of good practices, reporting guidelines and standards, and to communicate to the Conference of the Parties any voluntary commitments that contributed to the fulfilment of these targets. Businesses were further invited to align their policies and practices with the three objectives of the Convention and to participate in the meetings of the Conference of the Parties.

    COP 9 (Bonn, Germany-2008) in decision (IX/26) built upon the previous decisions by furthering the call for Parties to enhance the involvement and engagement of business as well as raising awareness of the business case for biodiversity. The decision also encouraged financial institutions to include biodiversity considerations into all investments and to create investment schemes to promote sustainable business activities. Further to these points, decision IX/26 also featured an annex entitled the “Framework of Priority Actions on Business, 2008-2010” which called upon the Executive Secretary (in conjunction with partners) to help build and promote the business case for biodiversity as well as to disseminate tools and best practices (which specifically included reference to certification schemes, offset mechanisms, biotrade, and procurement policies).

    For an analysis of the relevance of these decisions to the business community, please see here