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Biodiversity Guidance action 6.2.2
6.2.2 Identify changes in natural capital [biodiversity] associated with external factors
a. Determining external factors related to impacts
You should identify external factors that could result in changes to the state of biodiversity within the bounds of your assessment. These factors may directly or indirectly affect the perceived significance of impacts resulting from your business. This becomes important when required to compensate for biodiversity losses relating to your activities.
An optimum method for assessing changes in biodiversity associated with external factors at the site-level is through the comparison of impacts within the assessment area and a reference site at a secondary location where your business activities are not occuring. It can be very challenging to disentangle these external factors and the use of a reference site is often not feasible.
b. Determining external factors related to dependencies
You should consider identifying external factors affecting, or potentially affecting, your business’s dependencies on biodiversity. Considering the coffee plantation example, if a nearby river supplying water to the farm were dammed, there would be less water available to activities dependent upon the water supply. Or, if the forest surrounding the coffee plantation were to be degraded, this would reduce the protection from fire and flooding that is inherently provided by the surrounding, natural habitat.
The ENCORE tool can help identify impact and dependency pathways to determine external factors that may affect your business.