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Side Event

Conserving Biodiversity through Market Mechanisms: Biodiversity Offsets and their Potential for Company Participation

Global Nature Fund in collaboration with UNEP-FI UNEP-WCMC

Date and Time
8 October 2012 13:15 - 14:45

Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11)

Markets are increasingly used to generate additional funds for biodiversity protection. This session will generate interest from the private sector by showing the advantages and risks of investing in these markets and the benefits it brings for biodiversity. It will focus on biodiversity offsets. The session will focus on three topics. First, it focuses on the opportunities and benefits offsetting generates for biodiversity. Then, it continues with the role of the financial sector in markets for biodiversity offsets. Finally, an overview will be given of the offset market in Germany where offsetting is required by law and legislation enabling local habitat banking schemes exist. UNEP-FI and the UNEP WCMC recently completed a review of existing biodiversity offset schemes, initiatives and guidance for financial institutions. This will be presented to provide an overview of biodiversity offsets as an important element in the mitigation hierarchy and give examples of the different types of global regulatory and voluntary initiatives adopting this concept. The business case for financial institutions to engage with offset initiatives and the challenges with doing so will also be discussed. The state of global markets for biodiversity offsets and the market in Germany will be presented as well as the practical consequences this has for investors and companies. Finally, a market outlook of the future of biodiversity offsets will be given. The generated overview will allow a critical discussion on drawbacks and potential improvements to better achieve ecological and economic targets. The project will show the private sector how they can profit from win-win situations that benefit both business and biodiversity. It will show how companies can take part in concrete biodiversity offsets projects. On the side event we encourage active stakeholder participation and a constructive dialogue to identify bottle necks for business participation in “biodiversity markets” and to improve the mutual understanding of “biodiversity markets”. The Global Nature Fund (GNF) and the German Environmental Aid (Deutsche Umwelthilfe, DUH) are jointly analyzing and publishing an overview of biodiversity markets and give concrete recommendations to both investors and nature protection organisations to create win-win situations. This information will be used to for an online information platform to inform companies, financial institutions, politicians and interested citizens about best practice examples and the possibilities of participation in this field by early 2013. The project presented is sponsored by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz) and the Federal Environmental Ministry (Bundesumweltministerium) in Germany. It started in April 2012 and will run for two years. Presenters: Mr. Joost Bakker, Global Nature Fund (confirmed) Mr. Ivo Mulder, UNEP-FI (confirmed) Ms. Chloe Strevens, UNEP-WCMC (confirmed) Mr. Ulrich Stöcker, German Environmental Aid (Deutsche Umwelthilfe, moderator, confirmed) Mr. Francois Wakenhut, Head of Unit – Biodiversity, Directorate-General Environment, European Commission (tbc) German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (tbc)