Biodiversity in business strategy

The magic of mangroves

By financing practical actions private companies can drive positive action to enhance and restore nature.

By Leon Louw Director of Endorphin Expeditions 

According to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, integrating active management of biodiversity into core business strategies can be a tremendous profit which will enhance opportunities for these firms. Conversely, a lack of consideration can be incredibly costly.

While it has taken a long time to get climate risk frameworks integrated into financial thinking, the hope is that biodiversity risk will be much quicker.

According to the Nature Conservancy, the nature funding gap can be closed for less than 1% of global GDP – equivalent to what the world spends on cigarettes or soft drinks each year.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has found that for every dollar spent on nature restoration, at least USD9 of economic benefits can be expected.

Crucial role of the private sector  

As the largest potential source of investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, and with the ability to effect positive change across entire value chains, the private sector has a crucial role to play in these global endeavours.

In a recent independent review, commissioned by the UK Government, on the Economics of Biodiversity clearly identified that both businesses and governments still fail to account for “natural capital”.

“It proposes an alternative approach where economic evaluations rely less on GDP and focus more on natural capital: the stock of natural resources (including geology, soils, air, water, and all living things) and their value in financial terms, based on their importance to human wellbeing and planetary health (from the report Nature Positive Travel and Tourism)

The draft Global Biodiversity Framework recognises the crucial role of the private sector in the required transformation of society’s relationship with nature. This includes managing the use of natural resources and minimising its impact on nature; it recognises that businesses have enormous power to protect and restore nature.

According to the report Nature Positive Travel and Tourism businesses can help mobilise financial resources and technical capabilities, leverage government efforts, engage civil society, integrate and enhance community efforts, and develop innovative services and technological solutions.

Through better impact assessment, strategic planning, robust monitoring and regular reporting, businesses can better understand the scale and speed of biodiversity loss and actions to reduce it. Coordinated action to mainstream biodiversity commitment, cross-disciplinary collaboration and targeted education can help achieve these goals.

A valuable commercial investment

The private sector should take a proactive role in nature protection and restoration. Nature Positive actions can be valuable commercial investments and can enable collaboration with local organisations and the empowerment of local communities.

Effective activities include:

  •  Delivering powerful and informative communication for customers
  • Raising awareness among other businesses and public bodies
  • Support other nature positive initiatives
  • Support sustainable value chains

By financing practical actions through social impact, Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) schemes, and local nature conservation partnerships, it is possible to drive positive action to enhance and restore nature.

Partner with WhyAfrica and make biodiversity protection and communication key drivers of sustainable growth as your company expands its footprint across Africa. WhyAfrica specialises in the sustainable utilisation and responsible extraction of natural resources in Africa.

Biodiversity in business strategy

Biodiversity in business strategy
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