Why should businesses care about biodiversity?

  On an ordinary day, the minute before I might read about the rescue of stranded dolphins by the Maio Biodiversity Foundation, a Cabo Ford that I helped build in 2011 Verde conservation group; the next minute, about 1,100 dolphins died on French beaches.
  Extreme hope and despair are common in environmental protection – as environmentalists, we need to find coping mechanisms. One of my jobs is finding solutions to biodiversity loss from business activities. Why is biodiversity so important?
  Nature is infinitely rich, from the tiniest bacteria to the most charismatic megafauna, supporting the health and functioning of living systems, providing us with clean air, fresh water, food and more, or what we call ecosystem services. For example, drinking water in New York City comes from the largest unfiltered water system in the United States, which is fully supported by nature, rather than expensive filtration systems.
  We depend on such systems to survive and thrive. The World Economic Forum estimates that more than $44 trillion in economic value creation each year depends on nature, but virtually all businesses and businesses depend on a healthy planet.
  However, the world currently spends at least $1.8 trillion a year in subsidies for environmental damage, while land degradation reduces land productivity by 23 percent and puts more than one million species at risk of extinction. As one example, California’s almond tree industry, which now relies on commerce rather than natural pollination, loses 30 percent of its bees each year to disease and toxin exposure.
  The good news is that by 2030, the transition to a nature-positive economy could generate up to $10.1 trillion in business value and 395 million jobs globally each year.
common global goals

  Unlike the climate crisis, biodiversity loss has not received the attention it deserves from government and business leaders. Thankfully, that’s changing. Through the Leaders’ Commitment to Nature, 93 countries and the EU have committed to reversing nature loss by 2030. Nature finally came to the fore in climate negotiations at last year’s COP26 meeting, with the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use highlighting nature’s vital role in tackling climate change.
  There is growing recognition that indigenous peoples and local communities have a central role to play in fulfilling global commitments to biodiversity. For example, five years ago, for the first time in the world, local Maori people in New Zealand recognized the Whanganui River as a living entity with the same legal rights as humans.
  Later in 2021, at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, world leaders will agree on plans to protect and restore nature over the next decade. In addition to civil society, the business community is calling for a variety of measures, including changing subsidies for environmental damage, integrating climate and nature action, and green mainstream finance.
  Perhaps the most critical call is to set a global target for nature, similar to the 1.5°C target in the Paris Agreement on climate change, to coordinate efforts to tackle nature loss. At a minimum, governments should commit to a positive attitude toward nature by 2030, agree on an area-based target such as protecting 30 percent of land and sea by 2030, and create an effective enforcement mechanism that holds countries accountable and Take action gradually over time.
Biodiversity Financing

  However, commitments and goals will be meaningless without funding to meet the scale of the challenge.
  Civil society groups recently called on the world’s richest countries to commit at least $60 billion a year to protect and restore biodiversity in developing countries. A 1.5°C future cannot be achieved without investing in nature-based solutions such as reforestation, natural flood protection and regenerative agriculture, which will be a highly strategic investment that will help fill the gap every year until 2030. An overall biodiversity funding gap of more than $700 billion.

  Developing countries in particular need substantial support to maintain their natural capital, especially given that international trade, including commodities such as palm oil and soybeans produced in these countries, accounts for 30 percent of biodiversity threats.
  Most fundamentally, we need financial and economic institutional reforms, including adopting more inclusive measures of success that go beyond GDP, and acknowledging that our economies are rooted in nature. We cannot achieve unlimited growth on a finite planet.
Creating a Nature Positive Economy

  Regardless of the situation, business action is required. Consumer demand for sustainable products is growing, and investors are increasingly interested in how businesses report their impact on nature.
  While all sectors require integrated action on climate and biodiversity, agriculture in particular needs to change. Agriculture accounts for 29% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 70% of freshwater use. Disruptive brands like Oatly and Beyond Meat, already making plant-based products as meat and dairy alternatives, are taking advantage of the ‘food of the future’ opportunity – but they’re still only moving towards nature-positive food Pioneer of production transition.
  In addition, dozens of brands, from Patagonia and Veja, to Unilever and BNP Paribas, are also shifting business models, purchasing policies and investment directions.
  Technological innovations represented by eDNA, satellite data and artificial intelligence are transforming our understanding of life on Earth, allowing us to map and monitor millions of species on Earth. In Liberia’s rivers, for example, eDNA supported the identification of 170 species, including the endangered pygmy hippopotamus.
  Technology and data, while not a panacea, mean that businesses have an increasing number of tools to help develop long-term sustainable strategies. For example, SYSTEMIQ, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme-World Meteorological Centre, is building a space alliance to use space intelligence to support the implementation of climate and nature goals. In addition, a plethora of complementary approaches, such as science-based targeting and accountability frameworks, are helping businesses act for nature.
  As an environmentalist and businessman, I understand that ensuring a fair, net-zero, and naturally positive future requires action from all of us. Companies that are now committed to social and environmental goals will succeed. All business schools have a responsibility to put sustainability at the heart of their curricula.
  Biodiversity is the sum total of all life on Earth, and nature should be our greatest ally in the struggle for survival and commercial prosperity.

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