Private Business Action for Biodiversity

Title: Private Business Action for Biodiversity

Commissioned By: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)

Country: Brazil, India and Mexico

Overall Term: 2016 to 2020

Objective: Promising methods and instruments for promoting biodiversity-friendly production and marketing are developed and tested on a pilot basis in three partner countries.

Biodiversity is the diversity of life, comprising the wealth of species, genes, and ecosystems on Earth. It provides the basis for functioning ecosystems, which in turn deliver services such as fertile soils, clean water, pollination or climate regulation. Functioning ecosystems serve as living space for people, animals and plants, provide shelter from extreme weather events, are a basis for economic activity, and offer space for recreation.

Governments, public and private alliances, and initiatives worldwide are working to preserve biodiversity. Yet the loss of biodiversity is progressing faster than ever before, and it is increasingly jeopardizing human livelihoods. Among the main causes are pollution and overexploitation, changes in land use, the proliferation of invasive species, and climate change. These are usually driven by institutional and market failure which create difficulties to achieve sustainable development.




As a nature-based economic sector, agriculture depends on biodiversity and ecosystem services, particularly domesticated, farmed resources. Agriculture is the major cause of land conversion which leads to habitat loss and ecosystem degradation. Like the agricultural sector, the forestry sector is both dependent on and impacting biodiversity. Reforestation for timber resources is increasingly an industrial practice, but biodiversity-friendly restoration still remains a serious challenge. Agriculture, along with livestock, fisheries and forestry, plays an important role in the country as over 70% of population depends on agricultural activity for livelihoods. With about 54% of India’s agriculture land being rain-dependent, water plays a crucial role for agricultural products and livestock. 

Businesses can play an important role in combating the causes of biodiversity loss. On the one hand, the services provided by nature are at the basis of many economic processes. On the other hand, economic activity alters biodiversity and ecosystems – and often degrades them.

The global project Private Business Action for Biodiversity (PBAB) is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). PBAB pursues to identify, analyse and test promising approaches, methods and tools for promoting biodiversity-friendly production and commercialization; to test and learn from their implementation to further develop them where required; and to systematize the experiences gained in a way that enables both private and public actors to use them. At the heart of the project are pilot applications of selected methods, mechanisms and tools for promoting biodiversity- friendly production, commercialization and marketing in the partner countries (Brazil, Mexico and India).  This focus is on businesses especially small and medium enterprises that are partially dependent on ecosystem services or where the value chain strongly affects the ecosystem.

The project started in September 2016 and is advancing in its scoping phase. During the scoping phase, instruments, processes and mechanisms that promote biodiversity-friendly production and commercialization in different sectors will be identified, analysed, understood and discussed. For this reason it is rather important to understand the context conditions of production and trade regarding policies, laws, regulations, economic, fiscal and other sort of incentives that promote or hinder biodiversity friendly production and commercialization in the country. 

To read more on the Project, please visit the brochure for Private Business Action for Biodiversity

Photo Credits: © GIZ / Ursula Meissner and Sebastian Koch