IUCN and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) formalized their collaboration in 2005 through a 4-year agreement encouraging partnerships between the conservation and business communities. The main objectives of the agreement were: to develop and promote the business case for biodiversity, and; to help develop, test and promote the use of market-orientated strategies and business actions supporting the sustainable management of natural resources and enhanced civil society understanding, recognition and support for biodiversity leadership by business.
After the success of the first four years, IUCN and WBCSD renewed their collaboration in 2009. This second 4-year agreement seeks to address:
- Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and sustainable ecosystem management and use into business operations
- Enhancing civil society understanding, recognition and support for biodiversity leadership by business.
- Facilitating the development, testing and uptake of innovative and flexible market-orientated strategies and business actions that will support sustainable management of natural resources.
- Contributing lessons from the initiatives to relevant policy processes.
The IUCN-WBCSD collaboration has resulted in a series of outcomes including a stronger presence and voice of business at multilateral environmental negotiations such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, joint work on ecosystem valuation, and a joint stream of work on water with joint events organized at the World Water Forum, The Alliance for Water Stewardship and the Water Footprint Network as well as a joint publication on Water for business. IUCN and WBCSD were also co-leaders of The Forest Dialogue (TFD) in 2009 and 2010 and shaped the dialogue’s agenda in topics like Forestry & Inclusive Business and REDD Finance & Readiness. IUCN has also supported the development of WBCSD's Business and Ecosystem Training programme.
Joint publications include: Business and Ecosystems – Markets for Ecosystem Services (2007); Business and Ecosystems – Issue brief (2007); Agricultural ecosystems - Facts and Trends (2008); Buy, Sell and Trade!, a game on ecosystem services (2008); Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (2011), and; Biodiversity for Business – A guide to using knowledge products delivered through IUCN (2014).