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Business in Key Biodiversity Areas: minimising the risk to nature

A roadmap for businesses operating in some of the most biologically significant places on the planet has been issued today by the Key Biodiversity Area Partnership involving 12 of the world’s leading conservation organisations – including IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The report, Guidelines on Business and KBAs: Managing Risk to Biodiversity outlines steps that businesses can take to actively safeguard biodiversity and avoid contributing to its loss. It recommends businesses of all sizes and across all sectors to adopt 15 guidelines to better manage their direct, indirect and cumulative impacts on places deemed critical for the conservation of species and ecosystems worldwide, known as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs).

The report addresses issues such as avoidance of impacts, limits to biodiversity offsets, as well as financial guarantees and corporate reporting.  It guides businesses in managing the potential losses and other risks associated with their negative impact on biodiversity, including potential impacts on access to financing and increased company exposure to negative press.

“These new guidelines will help businesses protect the most important natural places on our planet, and so preserve the natural resources they so strongly depend on,” says Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General. “By managing their impacts on nature, businesses deliver positive conservation results, helping address the escalating crisis of biodiversity loss.”

The report and associated website aim to help businesses demonstrate good environmental practice and compliance with voluntary sustainability standards or certification schemes. It also explains how companies operating in KBAs can make a positive contribution to biodiversity by investing in conservation actions and sharing relevant information about the KBAs, including data collected in Environmental Impact Assessments, baseline studies and monitoring activities, with the KBA Partners. Its aim is to assist governments in authorisation decisions related to business operations.