IUCN-WBCSD renew collaboration

15 January 2010 | News story

IUCN and WBCSD have signed a new four-year agreement. The objective is to develop and promote the business case for biodiversity and support partnerships between non-governmental organizations and companies.

A second four-year Memorandum of Understanding signed between IUCN and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development was the culmination of Business Week in Gland, October 2009. The agreement is a demonstration of both organisations’ commitment to increase collaboration on a variety of topics at the interface of business and biodiversity. The agreement seeks to address a number of key issues, including:

• 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.

“IUCN wants to continue to build bridges between the conservation and business communities and this renewed partnership is an excellent way of doing it. We are looking forward to bringing this collaboration with the WBCSD to the next level,” says Juan Marco Alvarez, Director of IUCN’s Economy and Environmental Governance Group, and Head of the Business and Biodiversity Programme. “I strongly believe that with the signing of this MoU with the WBCSD we are in a more solid position to influence business decisions on pressing issues such as climate change and ecosystem degradation.”

“To achieve a low-carbon and resource-efficient future, the current practice of treating the environment separately from economic or policy decision-making is no longer appropriate,” said James Griffiths, Managing Director of the WBCSD’s Ecosystems Focus Area. “Business, and society at large, needs to value, conserve and use natural resources like forests, wetlands and fresh water on a sustainable and equitable basis”.

In moving forward, IUCN and WBCSD will collaborate on a number of topics from water to sustainable forestry. On the joint agenda for 2010 is also the organisation of the “International Business and Ecosystems day” at Nagoya, an event that will feature in the official programme for the CBD COP 10.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is a unique, CEO-led, global association of some 200 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. The Council provides a platform for companies to explore sustainable development, share knowledge, experiences and best practices, and to advocate business positions on these issues in a variety of forums, working with governments and non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations.

See also the story “Business Week at IUCN headquarters