LIFE Institute’s Business & Biodiversity tool selected for innovative research

7 febrero 2022

The LIFE Institute is honored to announce that the proposal ‘Synthesis and critical assessment of management tools to mainstream biodiversity in decision-making in the private sector’ submitted by the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich, in partnership with LIFE Institute and ISEAL, has been approved to participate in the three-month research “Synthesizing evidence in Economics of Biodiversity”, funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). 

Under the Economics of Biodiversity Programme, this opportunity will explore how current economies are dependent on nature and how nature and biodiversity are integrated into economic models and decision-making processes by exploring different evidence-based management tools.

The objective of this programme is to change the understanding of the role and value of biodiversity in natural capital assets, finding a balance between biodiversity conservation, economic growth, and human health and well-being. The program aims to provide concrete evidence and data and improved reporting tools of biodiversity impacts and dependencies in the private sector, as well as develop new decision support tools and management approaches.

Focusing on a critical analysis of existing tools and approaches that seek to help businesses measure their performance on biodiversity issues, the project will start by scoping tools for mainstreaming biodiversity into business decisions, one of which is the LIFE Methodology and Certification, and categorizing them based on what aspects of biodiversity are being assessed, what is the objective of the tools, and what decisions they aim to inform. 

Subsequently, the tools will be reviewed and compared according to how they link biological, ecological, socio-economic factors; how they quantify and value biodiversity impacts; what type of indicators they create; and whether they support screening of biodiversity risks and assessment of trade-offs between different types of capital.

Another important step will be to evaluate their alignment with the 2030 Action Targets and 2050 long term goals, presenting case studies of businesses that have used the tools to support biodiversity conservation actions as well as how these tools could be used by other businesses. By identifying gaps and improvement opportunities in relation to the methodologies used for assessing biodiversity performance, recommendations will be provided and a framework developed to monitor progress of biodiversity mainstreaming by businesses and to guide an alignment to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. In addition, areas in need of further research will be identified, policy options to support the evolution of these tools will be outlined and a map created depicting how the tools currently support actions related to biodiversity targets over key biodiversity hotspots.

The LIFE Institute will contribute to the research by providing information about the development and use of our Business & Biodiversity tool and metrics. This methodology is globally adaptable to any type and size of business, supporting them to assess and report on their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity, with the objective of reducing negative impacts and biodiversity-related risks, and increasing positive impacts on biodiversity. We will also contribute to the development of an assessment template to evaluate the tools, participate in a stakeholder webinar to discuss findings and their implications, and disseminate results. 

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