Today is International Biodiversity Day 2023. This year’s #BiodiversityDay is especially significant. After enduring delays due to the global pandemic, 194 governments met at COP15 the end of last year to agree on a Global Biodiversity Framework to halt and reverse the loss of nature by 2030.
The historic agreement aims to protect 30% of Earth’s land and sea and ensure the full integration of biodiversity and its multiple values into policies, regulations, planning and development processes and poverty eradication strategies, both nationally and internationally.
This year, the theme for International Biodiversity Day “From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity” underscores the dual nature of the optimism felt at the ambition of the agreement, coupled with the recognition of the urgency and scope of action required to deliver the agreements’ goals and targets.
Nature’s fundamental role in the functioning of our global economic systems is reflected throughout the framework and private sector accountability is firmly embedded within an international biodiversity agreement for the first time.
The surge in business interest in 2023 around biodiversity action is most notably driven by Target 15 within the framework which requires that all large businesses and financial institutions assess and disclose their risks, impacts and dependencies on biodiversity along their operations, supply and value chains and portfolios by 2030.
Businesses and financial institutions are now looking for direction and clarity as they begin to navigate the market’s complex landscape of tools, frameworks, methodologies and initiatives.
In order to streamline the space for businesses, leading organizations including Capitals Coalition, Business for Nature, Science-Based Targets Network, Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, World Economic Forum and WWF have joined forces to develop a series of high-level business actions on nature.
The guidance provides businesses with a clear pathway through the core actions they can take to signal they are making meaningful contributions to help reverse nature loss and contribute to an equitable, net zero and nature-positive future.
The high-level actions are divided into four key pillars: Assess, Commit, Transform and Disclose. A series of guidance sits underneath these pillars, as well as a breakdown of the tools that enable companies to progress through the different stages and steps.
For accessibility, the actions are offered in several languages including English, Chinese, French, Indonesian, Portuguese and Spanish.
Leading businesses from across sectors and geographies are already embracing the high-level actions and taking proactive steps to understand their impacts and dependencies on nature to inform their decision-making. Our recent report highlights 10 examples of business action framed around the high-level actions on nature.
International Biodiversity Day serves as a reminder of the critical importance of delivering on the ambition of the Global Biodiversity Framework as well as the role that the business and finance communities must play in this process. It is not just a framework for biodiversity, but one for collective societal action. By leveraging the guidance outlined in the high-level business actions on nature, businesses can begin to contribute meaningfully to reversing nature loss and to delivering a sustainable future.