Here in Curitiba at the meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity, for the first time, the parties to the Convention have made space on the agenda to discuss the role the private sector can play in the struggle to halt biodiversity loss.
The watchword is mainstreaming: how to integrate into all areas of policy-making actions that will help halt the loss? The structural problem - as with all conferences of this type - is that the thousands of people in the Expo Center are all the converted.
The main drivers of biodiversity loss are:
- Climate change
- Loss of habitat
- The introduction of alien species which can badly disrupt ecosystems after being carried across the world
- Over-exploitation of wildlife
- The build-up of nutrients through chemical fertilizers, sewage and air pollution
So why a major presence from IFC? Three reasons:
- Understanding the relationship of your business to biodiversity allows for sounder risk management, but also for opportunities for new revenue streams;
- The private sector often has resources that can contribute to the global campaign (knowledge of an area where the government has no mapping); and
- Private financial flows to developing countries, where the world’s biodiversity is found, outstrip official development assistance by a factor of 5 and growing.
To find out more about IFC’s approach to risk management see the new Performance Standard on Biodiversity. To learn about IFC’s approach to opportunities from developing sustainable business based on biodiversity see our programme with the GEF. Our practical support to companies in emerging markets - how should you think about biodiversity? – is exemplified by the newly launched Biodiversity Guide for Business.