From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity
The International Day for Biological Diversity has gained global prominence in shining a light on the biodiversity crisis. The recent adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at COP 15 offers new hope for securing a more sustainable future. Yet human activities are having devastating consequences for the natural world and time is running out to secure a more sustainable future for all life on Earth.
Biological diversity is a key priority for the United Nations in its promotion of sustainable development. Life depends on a rich and varied mix of animals, plants and microorganisms. According to the latest estimates, we share our planet with around 8.7 million species that are interdependent and form a complex web of ecosystems that support our planetary systems. We depend on this rich mix for everything from the air we breathe, to our food, fuel and medicine.
Wylde’s eBook on Biodiversity explores the importance of biological diversity and the global threats it faces. Humanity is destroying habitats, forcing species to the brink of extinction and disrupting the planetary systems on which life depends. Be it population growth, climate change, invasive species, land management or pollution, the planet’s precious ecosystems have never been more fragile.
According to the UN, current trends in biodiversity will undermine progress towards 80% of the assessed targets of eight Sustainable Development Goals. Three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66% of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions. Meanwhile, one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.
December 2022 saw the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15). The framework sets goals and measures to stop and reverse biodiversity loss by 2050. It sets out to restore 30% of ecosystems by 2030, halve food waste, and invest at least $200 billion a year in strategies that benefit nature.
International Day for Biological Diversity 2023 presents an ideal opportunity to focus minds on the task at hand. Parties to the Convention are encouraged to launch and promote their actions.
All stakeholders will need to play their part if we are to hit the biodiversity targets. For business, this mean recognising their dependence on natural capital, be it air, water or raw resources. Those that value biodiversity can build resilience, adapt to a changing world and future-proof their operations.
Tips for embracing biological diversity:
• Strategy – Put the protection of natural capital at the heart of a robust sustainability strategy.
• Support nature-focused initiatives – Donate time, resources and money to support charities working to protect biodiversity. This could be anything from charities that help protect the Amazonian rainforest to a small group of volunteers helping to clear waste from your local river. Many conservation charities have business membership schemes. Ensure you have staff engagement and that all stakeholders understand your drivers.
• Sponsor a Species – Look at the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Consider sponsoring a species or habitat or supporting a Local Biodiversity Partnership. You can support them financially and commit to long-term sponsorship programmes or give staff time to volunteer on key projects.
• On your doorstep – What can you do to support biodiversity on your own site? Use your land to create new habitats, put aside space for wildlife gardens and encourage staff to get out and appreciate its biodiversity. Perhaps they could help build a bug hotel, create a pond, or install bird feeders and hedgehog boxes. If you don’t have access to outside space, consider developing a roof garden or making use of balconies.
• Reduce emissions – Measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect the natural environment. Embrace renewable energy and commit to an ambitious waste reduction programme. Think about how you can support the circular economy to keep valuable resources in the value chain. Live by the mantra reduce, reuse and recycle to minimise your environmental impact.
• Responsible sourcing – As far as possible, source recycled raw materials or those with environmental certification and have full visibility when it comes to your supply chain. Ensure suppliers are compliant and are aligned with your commitment to supporting biodiversity.
• Reporting – The new EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive will require disclosure of the impact of larger businesses active within the EU on biodiversity and ecosystems by 2024. Read our eBook on reporting to learn more about current regulations and those on the horizon. Seek support in mapping biodiversity risks through your value chain and then setting science-based reduction targets.
The businesses we work with at Wylde Connections are learning about the importance of biodiversity in supporting their sustainability journey. Companies large and small also rely on healthy ecosystems to succeed, including the provision of raw materials. By assessing their impact and then focusing on key areas like reducing emissions, improving energy efficiency and reducing waste, business can play an important role in future proofing both their operations and the planet.
Talk to us about how we can help you with your sustainability strategy and put biodiversity at the heart of best practice.
To learn more about International Day for Biological Diversity 2023, visit: www.cbd.int/article/idb2023