Mainstreaming Biodiversity for Achieving the Global Goals

18 Jul, 2016

Nations across the world have made a commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in order to create a sustainable future, while ensuring a balance between social equity, environmental quality and economic efficiency. The need to conserve biodiversity becomes crucial, as it’s a prerequisite for natural systems to continue to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services, upon which the economy and society depend.

In pictures (from left) Mr. R Mukundan, Chair of IBBI, Managing Director of TATA Chemicals; Mr. P S Narayan, Convener IBBI Southern Region Chapter, Vice President and Head - Sustainability, Wipro Limited; Mr. Ravi Singh , Secretary General and CEO of WWF-India; and Dr. P S Rana, Advisor to National Biodiversity Authority (NBA)

India is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries in the world. India’s biological richness, with just 2.4% of the world’s land area, is spread across a vast range of habitats and ecosystems supporting 7% of globally recorded species, including over 45,000 plants and 91,000 animal species. Protecting biodiversity is a national priority as it is linked to livelihoods of millions of people. The 13 out of 17 SDGs have direct and indirect links with Aichi Biodiversity Targets and our National Biodiversity Targets for the conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity.

Businesses too, have an important role in creating this balance, as they are directly or indirectly dependent on the natural capital. In an effort to bring focus on the role of businesses in India to mainstream biodiversity into business management, and also to gather experiences, India Business and Biodiversity Initiative brought together more than 20 businesses from across India to discuss as to how businesses could integrate biodiversity into their core business in order to meet the national aspirations of sustainable development.

Emphasising the role of business, Mr. R Mukundan, the Chair of IBBI and also the Managing Director of TATA Chemicals reinstated that business and biodiversity can coexist and they should not be seen in competition. He also emphasised on the role of media to communicate effectively across about biodiversity and how we should work collaboratively with them.

Dr. Ravi Singh from WWF, stated that “business should commit and be responsible to ensure minimal impacts on biodiversity by decreasing their footprint and contribute positively”. While speaking on his association with IBBI, he said “I see it as a forerunner initiative which is perhaps the only initiative in the world so active in taking the biodiversity agenda forward.”

Dr. P S Rana, Advisor to NBA reaffirmed that there is need to align the objectives of all stakeholders to a common goal of sustainable development. Mr. P S Narayan, Convener IBBI Southern Region Chapter and Vice President and Head - Sustainability, Wipro Limited gave examples of Indian companies, which are IBBI members, and have aligned their company's goals to the larger global goals, thereby becoming the pioneers in the field of sustainable sourcing. Mr. Narayan also highlighted the designed products evaluating and reducing the negative environmental footprint of its products and processes from a life-cycle perspective.

In pictures (from left) "Guidebook for Biodiversity Management" being released by Mr. R Mukundan, Dr Sujata Arora, Adviser, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Mr. P S Narayan, Mr. Ravi Singh, Dr. P S Rana and Mr. Edgar Endrukaitis, Director, Indo-German Biodiversity Programme, GIZ India

IBBI on this occasion also released a publication on biodiversity management titled “A Guidebook for Biodiversity Management: Sectorial Outlook and Roadmap for Implementation”. The guidebook provides well-informed insights to enable businesses to identify their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity; understand ways of biodiversity managment, which can transform risks into opportunities and the step-wise approach to integrate biodiversity in businesses.