To discuss ways on how businesses can contribute in mainstreaming biodiversity, the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (SCBD) and the government of Mexico gathered more than 250 experts from businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations by hosting the 2016 Business and Biodiversity Forum in Cancun, Mexico, on December 2 and 3.

The forum focused on the concept of mainstreaming biodiversity from the business point of view, investment opportunities and legal frameworks that give more certainty to investments, as well as better decision-making, which factors in the value of biodiversity and the services it provides to businesses. Other important issues relevant for businesses that were addressed included natural capital accounting and financing, examining the links between climate change and biodiversity, and supply-chain policies.

“It is from biodiversity that businesses acquire raw materials for their products. Hence, the business sector must be equipped with knowledge on the values of biodiversity for them to come up with science-based decisions in operating their businesses, and to avoid overexploitation of natural resources,” Executive Director lawyer Roberto V. Oliva of Asean Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) said. Oliva served as the moderator of the first session of the forum.

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“When companies place resources sustainability at the core of their brand, they experience long-term revenue and experience positive impact in social and economic space,” International Union for Conservation of Nature Director General Inger Andersen said.

The forum is part of the 13th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP13). The conference provides a critical opportunity for countries to address strategic actions to enhance implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and promote the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity targets.

Aichi Targets – Main goals:

  • Strategic Goal A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
  • Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use 
  • Strategic Goal C: To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity 
  • Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services 
  • Strategic Goal E: Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building

7341One of the outcomes of the 2016 event is a Business and Biodiversity Pledge. The pledge provides an opportunity for business leaders to acknowledge the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services for businesses, and to state their commitment toward taking positive action on biodiversity.

Biodiversity is essential for the global environment, many animal species are infact necessary for the life itself on the Planet, for example plancton, bats, bees and fungus. Diversification in the Nature helps surviving pandemics and bacterial infections, enhance the strength of the species and their adaptation skills. Agribusinesses play a key role for the species, often only few species of animals and vegetables are raised by big companies, the most strong and with the highest productivity, but there are many more species important which deserve to be protected and safeguarded.

OIPA supports companies and governments which are trying to find a way to guarantee the conservation of many species and will take action to tackle the recent global loss in biodiversity.