Stepping up to the European biodiversity challenge
25 June 2010 | Article
The IUCN Regional Office for Pan Europe (RofE) is using the momentum gained through the International Year of Biodiversity to emphasize the importance of integrating business into a post-2010 regime.
Through two new projects focusing on business and biodiversity, IUCN RofE is collaborating with different stakeholders in Europe to enhance business involvement in biodiversity and raise awareness of the biodiversity challenge.
Establishing a European Business and Biodiversity Platform
The European Business and Biodiversity Platform was initiated by the European Commission and began in January 2010. This project, which is led by IUCN Regional Office for Pan Europe, will engage with a broad range of stakeholders.
During its first year, the project will focus on six sectors: agriculture, food supply industry, forestry, extractive industries, financial sector and tourism. The platform will work with businesses within these sectors to promote their awareness of and engagement in biodiversity protection. The platform will benchmark and develop best practice guidelines, and aim to ensure implementation of by participating companies. It will also review existing award systems and develop an award rating system to help recognise those sectors and companies that have made an outstanding contribution to biodiversity protection.
The platform will also establish a Business and Biodiversity website which will act both as a resource centre and a hub to link ongoing sectoral and geographic initiatives under the Convention on Biological Diversity and other organizations.
A call for interest has been posted on several websites including those of the EC, IUCN, Countdown 2010 and some industry associations.
The European Business and Biodiversity Campaign
This campaign will promote the business case for biodiversity among EU member states with a focus on Spain, Germany and The Netherlands, through workshops, seminars and a cross media communication strategy. The project is led by Global Nature Fund with its partners including IUCN Regional Office for Pan Europe, the Lake Constance Foundation, Dokeo, Triple E and Altop.
The campaign has three modules:
- Business Advocates in Biodiversity Management will promote best practice and innovative technologies in specific business sectors, encouraging business to business exchange on integrating biodiversity into corporate strategies;
- Regional Biodiversity Forums focused on SMEs with a view to establishing regional and local initiatives that disseminate knowledge and approaches on biodiversity friendly activities;
- Environmental NGOs as Facilitators of Business and Biodiversity will create connections between NGOs and businesses, improving knowledge about existing initiatives (standards, indicators, tools, etc.) and facilitating information and experience exchange.