Source:www.businessbiodiversity.in / 22-May-2016
Humans share the planet with millions of other living things. All living things, including humans, are interconnected. This variety of living things on Earth is called biodiversity. Biodiversity is all of the Earth's plants, animals, ecosystems and genes. It includes the tallest tree, the smallest insect, and the most delicate coral reef ecosystem. There are three very important concepts related to biodiversity: species diversity, genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity. The Earth is so rich with life that scientists don’t even know for sure how many different kinds of organisms may exist. So far 1.3 million species have been identified worldwide (UNEP, 2016).
The United Nations designated 2011–2020 as the "United Nations Decade on Biodiversity". At least 40 per cent of the world’s economy and 80 per cent of the needs of the poor are derived from biological resources (CBD). In addition, the richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for medical discoveries, economic development, and adaptive responses to such new challenges as climate change.
Biodiversity, through the ecosystem services it supports, also makes an important contribution to both climate-change mitigation and adaptation. Consequently, conserving and sustainably managing biodiversity is critical to addressing climate change.
22nd May is celebrated as International Biological Diversity day and this year theme specifically indicates the vision set by the Global Goals 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Change Agreement. This year’s theme recognizes that biodiversity is not something far away, but something that is close and personal, and has an impact on all our lives. By reversing the loss of biodiversity we are not only protecting nature, but also our own well-being. Taking this forward will require dedicated efforts to minimise and mitigate factors of biodiversity loss, in order to reduce its impact on people and their livelihoods.
Businesses are both affected by, and rely upon, these biodiversity and ecosystem services, regardless of organization size, location and sector. This is more obvious for some, less so for others. There are some industries whose profitability depends directly on the health of ecosystems, for example forestry, fishing, agriculture and ecotourism. Other sectors have a direct impact on ecosystems and biodiversity through their operations, such as mining, construction and energy. For companies in these areas, a good track record on sustainability management is crucial for them to be able to obtain operating licenses and to maintain good relationships with stakeholders (i.e. local communities and NGOs).
Though risk arising from impact on biodiversity exist so also huge business opportunity from sustainable use and the protection of biodiversity. Consumers are becoming more aware of environmental issues and are increasingly looking for “green” products. Managing biodiversity is therefore a way to manage risk. The consequences of biodiversity degradation and loss can lead to a higher cost for inputs to business processes, or the disruption of key elements of a value chain. Biodiversity is also increasingly being considered by governments, with the consequence that there is an increasing level of regulation in a number of fields.
On International Biological Diversity Day 22 May 2014 India Business & Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI) was started with an aim to sensitise, guide and mentor business organisations in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use related to their operations, across their value chain and beyond towards conservation of India’s biodiversity. India Business and Biodiversity Initiative was launched on invitation from Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change by CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development with support from German Development Cooperation through GIZ on 22nd May 2014. IBBI is the only national initiative on business and biodiversity led by industry and is part of the Global Partnership for Business and Biodiversity (GPBB) hosted by the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
IBBI is governed by an advisory group constituting businesses, institutes, civil societies, NGOs and Government. In order to become a member of the IBBI the CEO of the organisation needs to sign 10 points IBBI Declaration and make biennial public disclosure on the progress made on declaration points to demonstrate the organization’s commitment towards biodiversity. Twenty five companies have joined the initiative so far in last two years, sixteen of them will complete their 2nd year on 22nd May 2016 and have submitted a report demonstrating their commitments towards biodiversity.
Today we are launching the consolidated disclosure report of 16 business members to showcase what the initiative has achieved in last two years. The report highlights how the Indian businesses have shown great maturity, leadership and responsibility towards conservation and sustainable use of Indian biodiversity and the actions covered in the report presents the same.
The report highlights:
IBBI is happy to present that Indian industry has embarked on this journey to mainstream sustainable management of biodiversity into business and commitment to action is visible in their work. With more companies joining IBBI and meeting their commitment on the declaration points, conservation and sustainable use of Indian biodiversity will be achieved with risk free environment to operate their businesses as well.
Download the report for more details.