Ecosystems

Description

This includes the cumulative effects of rapid urbanisation, industry, and other human activities that threaten ecosystems. Companies should seek to operate in ways that support the ongoing resilience of ecosystems. Harm should be avoided or minimised, and - when not possible - companies should offset residual impacts so that natural spaces are healthy and functioning when activities cease.

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Resources
The Convention on Biological Diversity cover

The Convention on Biological Diversity

The Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) aims to provide a global framework for biodiversity action. The CBD has three main goals: conserving biodiversity, achieving the sustainable use of its components, and fairly and equitably sharing the benefits arising from genetic resources. The CBD brings together the Conference of the Parties (COP) every two years to review progress, adopt programs, and provide policy guidance. Among their achievements is the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, which provided an overarching biodiversity framework for the entire UN system and all partners involved in policy development. This plan includes the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which were established in an effort to protect and conserve the biodiversity that underpins global food security, health and clean water.

The CBD website is a rich source for learning materials on biodiversity indicators and required actions; primer guides on the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; information on national biodiversity strategies and action plans; and more.

The Nature of Risk cover

The Nature of Risk

Scientific consensus is growing around risks to business from the loss and degradation of nature. This report and framework from WWF builds on existing natural capital and climate-related risk frameworks, and will help you understand the extricable link between nature- and climate change-related risks. This resource also includes a set of case studies featuring businesses facing the consequences of nature-related risk.

Climate Risk Assessment for Ecosystem-based Adaptation: A guidebook for planners and practitioners cover

Climate Risk Assessment for Ecosystem-based Adaptation: A guidebook for planners and practitioners

This guide is a good starting point if your organisation is looking to preserve at-risk natural spaces from climate change impacts. The guide focuses on ecosystem-based adaptation, which involves the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services to help communities adapt to the negative effects of climate change and to reduce their risk to environmental hazards. This handbooks will help you to perform sound assessments of climate risks for social-ecological systems, and provides guidance on how to systematically consider ecosystems and their services as both a driver of risk (when function is reduced) and as an opportunity for risk reduction and adaptation. This document introduces key concepts and methodological steps relevant for ecosystem-based adaptation; identifies potential adaptation measures; and explains how to perform related planning and use risk assessments for monitoring and evaluation.

The Social Foundation: 'A Safe and Just Place for Humanity' cover

The Social Foundation: 'A Safe and Just Place for Humanity'

Kate Raworth's “Doughnut” model is a key framework for understanding sustainability context. Building on the planetary boundaries framework as a 'ceiling', it adds social foundations as a 'floor' and underlines the need to operate in the space between. The social foundation is made up of 11 boundaries that draw attention to communities needing access to basic resources to fulfill their human needs. This access needs to be achieved in a way that does not place undue stress on the earth's resources. The framework is based on the premise that we should be striving to build and maintain social foundations while staying within planetary boundaries.

ENCORE (Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks, and Exposure) cover

ENCORE (Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks, and Exposure)

ENCORE (Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks, and Exposure), a free tool from the Natural Capital Finance Alliance, will help you to visualise how your business may be exposed to accelerating environmental change. The tool provides a snapshot of the depencies and impacts for a wide range of sub-industries and processes, and includes fact sheets and maps to help you understand the links between business activities and nature.

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) cover

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

Established in 2012, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an intergovernmental organisation that was created to  "strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being, and sustainable development."

The IPBES produces assessments on specific themes and issues at both the regional and global levels; supports policy development; builds capacity and knowledge for participating member states; provides tracking to show the impact of their knowledge materials on decision-making; and engages in communications, outreach, and awareness-building on key ecosystem-related topics. They are a knowledgeable and reputable source for content that will support your understanding of nature's contributions to human well-being.

Strengthening Synergies: How action to achieve post-2020 global biodiversity conservation targets can contribute to mitigating climate change cover

Strengthening Synergies: How action to achieve post-2020 global biodiversity conservation targets can contribute to mitigating climate change

Climate change and biodiversity decline are fundamentally connected, and therefore addressing these intersecting crises will require the development and deployment of nature-based solutions. This primer will help you to understand the role that achieving biodiversity conservation targets can play in reducing emissions to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The report looks at the carbon stocks associated with areas identified as possible priorities to meet proposed global biodiversity conservation targets.

Nature Map Explorer cover

Nature Map Explorer

Using the best available scientific data, Nature Map Explorer provides a set of integrated global maps on biodiversity and ecosystems services that will help you to explore, visualise, and understand the geographic context of various ecosystem services and the impacts of human activities on them. The map features layers such as terrestrial habitat types, human impact on forests, species richness, and areas of global significance for conservation, and can support your efforts to design and implement policies and initiatives aimed at limiting biodiversity loss and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Deforestation Monitoring and Response Framework

The Forest Positive Coalition has created a framework to proactively monitor and address deforestation and peat non-compliances. The framework is a living document, and it aims to create a more efficient and effective approach for dealing with non-compliance with 'No Deforestation or Peat Development' commitments. It has two sections: guidance on minimum requirements for monitoring, and a response framework that clarifies roles and responsibilities across the supply chain.

Although the scope of the monitoring is for palm oil only, the learning outcomes will be shared for other commodities across the Forest Positive Coalition members.

Handbook for Nature-related Financial Risks: Key concepts and a framework for identification cover

Handbook for Nature-related Financial Risks: Key concepts and a framework for identification

This handbook from the University of Cambridge Institutite for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) explains how nature loss is a risk to financial institutions. Created to help financial practitioners with limited prior knowledge of biodiversity loss, land degradation, and other ecosystem-related sustainability topics, it provides an overview of key terms and concepts and features a framework for identifying various nature-related financial risks (as well as relevant physical, transition, and liability risks). This is a good starting point for practitioners who want to better understand how to embed nature-related financial risks into strategy and decision-making.

Living Planet Index cover

Living Planet Index

The WWF's Living Planet Index (LPI) is a measure of the state of the world's biological diversity based on population trends within the animal kingdom. Adopted by the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), this resource provides data a variety of sources for thousands of species. Whether you are evaluating current or future potential strategic risks from biodiversity decline, or simply seeking to build your understanding of the state of biodiversity, this resource is a good starting point to build your knowledge of systemic pressures and threats to biodiversity, socioecological trends, and other insights on how "conservation intervention" can promote species recovery.

Nature Risk Rising: Why the Crisis Engulfing Nature Matters for Business and the Economy cover

Nature Risk Rising: Why the Crisis Engulfing Nature Matters for Business and the Economy

This report, the first in the World Economic Forum's 'New Nature Economy' report series, will help you to better understand the dependency and impact of business on nature. The report uses a simple three-stage breakdown: 1) acknowledging and explaining the crisis of biodiversity decline, 2) identifying material risks, and 3) managing material risks. This report explores the scale and urgency of the biodiversity decline emergency and the drivers of nature loss, and provides a helpful fit-for-purpose framework for managing nature-based risks.

Healthy ecosystem metric framework: biodiversity impact cover

Healthy ecosystem metric framework: biodiversity impact

A growing number of companies have expressed the need for clear, standardised 'healthy ecosystem' metrics to demonstrate their progress towards reducing their impact on nature. To help business leaders and sustainability change agents take action on ecosystem decline, the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Learning has developed a framework that provides a credible, science-based starting point for measuring ecosystem impacts from a contextual perspective. The metric provided is based on the impact of a company upon the quality and quantity of biodiversity, soil, and water, with clear information on how the metric was conceived and how it could be used.

Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool cover

Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool

This tool from the IBAT Alliance will improve your decision-making and access to markets by growing your understanding of local, national, and regional biodiversity risks and opportunities. IBAT provides comprehensive risk reports with data from the World Database on Protected Areas, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas; combined, this information provides a comprehensive risk 'map' that will help you to align with international best practices. Although IBAT has a sliding subscription scale, there is an introductory option with free access to visual data maps and country profiles, as well as pay-as-you-go reports.

Global biodiversity is in crisis, but how bad is it? It’s complicated cover

Global biodiversity is in crisis, but how bad is it? It’s complicated

This article is a good primer on the pace and severity of biodiversity decline and the impacts this decline is having on our world. The article explains the concept of a global threshold for biodiversity loss; the concept and importance of genetic diversity; the realities of regime shifts; and the importance of radical action to preserve the remaining integrity of our biosphere.

Raising the Bar on Corporate Sustainability Reporting to Meet Ecological Challenges Globally cover

Raising the Bar on Corporate Sustainability Reporting to Meet Ecological Challenges Globally

This global, cross-sector report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) assesses the environmental dimension of sustainability reporting and provides recommendations to make environmental reporting relevant to all stakeholders. It analyses the most common and crucial environmental disclosure items and provides practical recommendations for companies and other reporting organisations on how these items should be measured and reported, supported with best-practice examples. It also identifies aspects of reporting where companies need to improve in order to align with the UN's 2030 development agenda, such as applying an understanding of ecological and social thresholds.

Accounting for Natural Climate Solutions Guidance cover

Accounting for Natural Climate Solutions Guidance

Natural climate solutions have been recognised as key levers in mitigating the negative impacts of climate change, with ~12% of global impacts from GHG emissions coming from land use and land-use changes (LULUC). To support you in calculating, accounting for, and reporting on LULUC-generated GHG emissions, the Accounting for Natural Climate Solutions Guidance from Quantis delivers a robust methodology to embed land-related emissions in corporate and product footprints, which can be used for setting science-based climate targets. Additionally, the supporting Annex document provides detailed information on the scope of the proposed methodology, including technical instructions, context, debated challenges, and limitations, as well as references.

A Cross-Sector Guide for Implementing the Mitigation Hierarchy cover

A Cross-Sector Guide for Implementing the Mitigation Hierarchy

This guide from the Cross Sector Biodiversity Initiative and The Biodiversity Consultancy clearly defines the four steps of the mitigation hierarchy (avoid, minimize, restore and offset) and their application with regard to managing biodiversity throughout the life cycle of an extractive project. The guide offers practical measures for predicting and verifying biodiversity conservation outcomes over time, and provides insights into recording and comparing mitigation-related costs. If you are seeking to learn about the mitigation hierarchy and to understand your options for mitigating impacts from a contextual perspective, this guide is an excellent starting point.

No net loss and net positive impact approaches to biodiversity cover

No net loss and net positive impact approaches to biodiversity

The objective of this report from the IUCN is to learn from the experiences of the extractive and infrastructural sectors and to propose an organizing framework for applying No Net Loss (NNL) & Net Positive Impact (NPI) approaches in other business sectors. Although written with the agriculture and forestry sectors in mind, this report will help you to understand the mitigation heirarchy and the ambiguity around NNL and NPI definitions and impact goals. The document also provides a framework for applying a Net Positive Impact approach, with step-by-step scenario schematics (including visuals) that will help you to better understand the applicability of the mitigation hierarchy to your organization's work.

Biodiversity Offsets: A User Guide cover

Biodiversity Offsets: A User Guide

The mitigation hierarchy holds that avoiding, minimizing, rectifying, and reducing impacts to the natural environment are all preferable to offsetting, but there are situations where biodiversity offsets are a necessity. This guide from the Convention on Biological Diversity will help you understand when to consider using offsets, and explains the core principles and limits of offsetting.

Biodiversity: where the world is making progress – and where it’s not cover

Biodiversity: where the world is making progress – and where it’s not

This short article is a good starting point for understanding the status of biodiversity and global efforts to halt and reverse biodiversity decline. It provides a high-level summary of successes and shortcomings, and may help business leaders otherwise unfamiliar with the issue to learn of the forces driving biodiversity decline and the actions required by government and industry to effect positive change.

The Intelligent Forest cover

The Intelligent Forest

This excerpt from Suzanne Simard's book Finding the Mother Tree is a deeply moving and personal piece that dispels the notion of ecosystems as inert and predictable, and highlights their similarities with human societies. She casts light on a range of thought-provoking parallels, such as their dependence on (and corresponding growth and resilience from) relationships. This resource will help you to understand the dynamic nature of systems, and how their constituent parts respond to one another and their surroundings through adaptive and evolutionary change

Setting robust biodiversity goals cover

Setting robust biodiversity goals

The global biodiversity framework (GBF) that is being developed under the Convention on Biological Diversity intends to ensure that by 2050 humanity is 'living in harmony with nature'. However, the authors of this paper argue that the draft goals and targets - as they are currently articulated - do not specify explicit, measurable goals that can credibly achieve this outcome. This paper makes the case for distinct outcome goals for species, ecosystems, and genetic diversity, and it outlines seven general principles to underpin smart and effective net outcome goal-setting. These principles can help you to better understand the benefits and shortcomings of broad "net outcome" goals (such as "no net loss") and can support your process for creating and implementing credible biodiversity goals.

A Practical Guide to Insetting cover

A Practical Guide to Insetting

Insetting refers to a company offsetting its emissions through projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester carbon within its own value chain. It is an opportunity for businesses to link emissions and carbon sequestration to their sourcing landscapes. This guide from the International Platform for Insetting shares insights and provides recommendations that will help you to transform your supply chain for a resilient, regenerative, net zero carbon future that values and protects nature. The guide was created specifically for insetting practitioners and stakeholders that want to learn more about the concept, and it highlights lessons and opportunities for realising the full potential of insetting.

Biodiversity Loss and Land Degradation: An Overview of the Financial Materiality cover

Biodiversity Loss and Land Degradation: An Overview of the Financial Materiality

This brief from CISL explains biodiversity loss and land degradation, why they matter, the financial implications of such decline, and methods for quantification. This brief may be a helpful primer for executives and board members who want to better understand how to prioritise these issues and to determine the cost of inaction.

Global Forest Watch cover

Global Forest Watch

This online platform provides data and tools for monitoring forests, and will help you to access near real-time information about where and how forests are changing around the world. The maps features allow you to visualise and analyse historical trends in tree cover loss and gain since 2000, view land cover, and toggle for various country-specific climate and biodiversity factors. This tool may be particularly helpful to sustainability, oversight, and procurement professionals who are responsible for monitoring illegal deforestation, defending land and resources, and ensuring commodities are sustainably sourced.

Why Preserving Forest Integrity Is As Vital As Preventing Deforestation cover

Why Preserving Forest Integrity Is As Vital As Preventing Deforestation

This quick read from the World Resources Institute can help you to understand the importance of forest integrity, which refers to the health of standing forests, including their ability to store carbon and protect biodiversity. This article explains the concept of forest integrity; identifies the greatest threats to forest integrity; explains where forest integrity is most at risk; and identifies actions required to protect high-integrity forests and restore other forests.

Why are Tropical Forests Being Lost, and How to Protect Them cover

Why are Tropical Forests Being Lost, and How to Protect Them

This resource is a good primer on global forest loss trends; signs of progress against deforestation; and the most effective actions for ending deforestation by 2030 - particularly political and financial levers.

Beyond 'Business as Usual': Biodiversity Targets and Finance cover

Beyond 'Business as Usual': Biodiversity Targets and Finance

This report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA) was created to highlight the need for banks, insurers, and investors to set strong biodiversity targets. This resource can help you to understand why nature is important to financial institutions; which sectors have the greatest impact and dependence on biodiversity; and how to use this knowledge to inform biodiversity target-setting. It

Natural Capital Protocol Toolkit cover

Natural Capital Protocol Toolkit

Developed by WBCSD, this toolkit is directed at businesses who need help with measuring specific aspects of natural capital, such as waste or water, and who want to understand which natural capital measurement tools are available and how they differ. This online resource consolidates all of the tools, methodologies, and approaches of the Natural Capital Protocol, and provides a standardised, international framework for conducting natural capital assessments. This is a helpful resource for learning which tools to use for measuring and evaluating, and when.

The secret world beneath our feet is mind-blowing – and the key to our planet’s future cover

The secret world beneath our feet is mind-blowing – and the key to our planet’s future

Healthy soil is essential for healthy plant growth, human nutrition, and water filtration, but what exactly is soil? This fascinating article from George Monbiot can help you to understand the complexity and significance of soil; the consequences of our agricultural practices on soil health, and how they are contributing to a looming (and global) food crisis; and the actions and innovations required to restore, preserve, and advance good soil health.

Guidance Note for Pest Management Planning cover

Guidance Note for Pest Management Planning

This resource from IUCN is a helpful starting point for organizations drafting their first invasive species management plan. The note also provides a list of helpful reference points for specific pest management guidelines.

Guideline for Invasive Species Planning and Management on Islands cover

Guideline for Invasive Species Planning and Management on Islands

This comprehensive guideline will specifically benefit businesses with operations and projects on island territories. The guideline includes a 3-part checklist on the foundations, information and prioritisation, and management action, as well a detailed how-to, which includes advice for engaging with the community, writing an invasive species strategy and action plan, and translating the plan into action.

Leading a Sustainable Land Use Transition cover

Leading a Sustainable Land Use Transition

This CEO briefing explains how unsustainable land use is threatening the health of the planet, its people, and economies, and explains the patterns of behaviour contributing to this issue. It explains how it is crucial for the business community to contribute to positive solutions, and highlights some of the key actions that industries can undertake to lead the transition. This primer is a good starting point for introducing business leaders to the topic of land use and the role they can play to creating sustainable built environments.

Landscapes for Life: Approaches to landscape management for sustainable food and agriculture cover

Landscapes for Life: Approaches to landscape management for sustainable food and agriculture

Every business, knowingly or otherwise, shapes the land beneath it and around it. If you are looking to achieve a better understanding of the positive impacts your company can have on the land, this guide from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) provides summary information on a range of best-practices for land use, including territorial developlment, forest and landscape restoration, and integrated peri-urban systems. The document also includes a variety of short case studies highlighting FAO approaches in action.

Global Land Outlook: Land Restoration for Recovery and Resilience cover

Global Land Outlook: Land Restoration for Recovery and Resilience

This comprehensive guide from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification can help change agents, policy advocates and lobbyists, and corporate strategic planners to understand the rationale, enabling factors, and diverse pathways by which land degradation can be reduced and reversed. The guide is divided into three parts: Land In Focus examines the current global land use system, including its status, dynamics, trajectories, and the consequences for people and the planet; Restoration Around the World highlights and explores the range of land restoration activities currently happening around the world; and Framing the Land Restoration Agenda demonstrates the feasibility and applicability of different pathways to recovery and resilience.

Environmental Impacts of Food Production cover

Environmental Impacts of Food Production

Over the last few centuries, wild habitats such as forests, grasslands, and shrubbery have been transformed by humanity to create space for agriculture. In fact, as explained in this comprehensive article, half of the world's land is now used for agriculture. This resource features charts, table, and summaries to highlight the environmental impacts of food and agriculture, such as their impact on greenhouse gases, land use, freshwater use, eutrophication, and biodiversity. It also highlights a range of solutions for reducing these impacts. This resource may help you to better understand how the land footprint (and their distribution) differs between food types, and to identify areas where your business can directly or indirectly intervene to support positive change.

Restoring Forests and Landscapes: The key to a sustainable future cover

Restoring Forests and Landscapes: The key to a sustainable future

The Bonn Challenge and New York Declaration on Forests’ goal of restoring 350 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 could yield up to $9 trillion of net economic benefits, not to mention the incalculable value from vital ecosystem services restored, but how do we get there? This report from the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) emphasises the need for bold restoration targets to achieve the objectives of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It provides facts and figures that will help you to understand the damage from degradation; the benefits of restoration; and brief case examples to highlight what restoration in action looks like.

InfoFLR cover

InfoFLR

This resource from IUCN is a good source for news, resources, and updates on forest landscape restoration (FLR) around the globe, and will help you to build your knowledge and understanding of FLR trends in a specific region. InfoFLR has created detailed nation profiles that include discrete country-specific information, national domestic targets, and details and status updates on restoration policies and programs.

A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas cover

A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas

This guidebook from IUCN sets out globally agreed criteria for the identification of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) worldwide. The standard establishes a science-based, threshold-informed process for KBA identification, and will help you to grow your understanding of why particular sites are especially important for preserving vital biodiversity, as well as how to identify vulnerable and at-risk ecosystems.

Guidelines on Business and KBAs: Managing Risk to Biodiversity cover

Guidelines on Business and KBAs: Managing Risk to Biodiversity

This report builds on IUCN's global standard for the identification of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and provides recommendations that will help your business to manage its direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on KBAs. The guide explains how KBAs are identified and provides an overview of how the guidelines can be applied in different contexts. This report will be particularly useful for business professionals whose work is related to designing, implementing, and reviewing risk and impact mitigation standards.

The frontline of conservation: how Indigenous guardians are reinforcing sovereignty and science on their lands cover

The frontline of conservation: how Indigenous guardians are reinforcing sovereignty and science on their lands

Indigenous land defenders often patrol large tracts of land and coast that don't otherwise receive sufficient monitoring from governments. This fascinating article from the Narwhal highlights how Indigenous guardians are leading efforts to catch poachers, document species, and save lives along the coast of British Columbia - all while filling major gaps in knowledge and conservation. This resource can help you to understand the immense (and unique) value that Indigenous communities provide towards protecting natural spaces, and the importance of supporting these efforts as well as Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination.

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