This handbook provides information on the business case for biodiversity, as well as current biodiversity issues for business, and guidance on corporate biodiversity strategies. The current status of the debate is illustrated by specific case stories, thus providing an opportunity for companies to highlight their renewed commitment to an issue of high importance. The accompanying CD-ROM provides additional biodiversity resources, including extended case studies and lists of the key institutions and sources of information that can help build a company capacity for integrating biodiversity into business practice.
In June 1997, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) produced Business and Biodiversity, A Guide for the Private Sector. This report provided many insights into why businesses should be involved in the biodiversity debate and suggested how they could best participate. The 1997 Guide is available on the aforementioned CD-ROM.
Earthwatch Europe has since joined this partnership for progress between the biodiversity and business communities to produce an updated report, Business and Biodiversity, The Handbook for Corporate Action.
The Handbook builds on the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the core international agreement on biodiversity, which recalls the three components of biodiversity, namely: ecosystems, species and genes. The Convention also establishes the three fundamental objectives for biodiversity:
- Conservation of biodiversity,
- Sustainable use of biological resources, and
- Equitable sharing of biodiversity benefits.
Biodiversity is everywhere and it is everyone’s responsibility. Biodiversity is more than just the reasoned use of nature and natural resources by the resource extraction companies. Financial institutions, consumer goods companies, service organisations and the information technology sector can all contribute to the fundamental objectives of the CBD. It is the hope of three organisations that a wider cross-section of the private sector will accept the challenge, integrate biodiversity concerns into their management systems, and take action to conserve biodiversity that is at the core of our planet’s ability to sustain future generations.
This Handbook highlights how a number of companies have already begun to do so. In particular, this report:
- Outlines the business case for biodiversity,
- Identifies corporate biodiversity issues, and
- Provides guidance for developing biodiversity corporate action.
The companies and organisations that contributed resources to produce this report are acknowledged on the inside back cover. Many other companies contributed case studies giving tangible evidence of business action to conserve and enhance biodiversity.