Coming soon!!!
Thank you for your patience.

Land use and conversion to support a client’s/investee’s operations not only results in increased erosion of the topsoil, which leads to sedimentation of streams and rivers and degrades water quality, but can also impact biodiversity due to habitat loss and fragmentation. A reduction in biodiversity diminishes the capacity of ecosystems to provide a stable and sustainable supply of essential goods and services such as clean air and water and also reduces genetic variability, which could potentially decrease the amount of natural resources available for future use.

Protecting and conserving biodiversity – the variety of life in all its forms, including genetic, species and ecosystem diversity – and its ability to change and evolve, is fundamental to sustainable development. The components of biodiversity, as defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity, include ecosystems and habitats, species and communities, and genes and genomes, all of which have social, economic, cultural and scientific importance. Clients/Investees need to avoid or mitigate threats to biodiversity arising from their operations as well as sustainably manage renewable natural resources as most national environmental legislations protect biodiversity and regulate the use of natural resources. Any violation of legislations can result in fines and/or penalties.

The destruction of habitat (natural and modified) is recognized as the major threat to the maintenance of biodiversity. Natural habitats consist of land and water areas where the biological communities are formed largely by native plant and animal species, and where human activity has not essentially modified the area’s primary ecological functions. Modified habitats are typically altered natural habitats, often with the introduction of alien species of plants and animals, such as agricultural areas. Both types of habitat can support important biodiversity at all levels, including endemic or threatened species.

Within both natural and modified habitats, there may be critical habitats that are required for the survival of critically endangered or endangered species or for endemic or restricted-range species and migratory species. The intentional or accidental introduction of alien, or non-native, species of flora and fauna into areas where they are not normally found can be a significant threat to biodiversity, since some alien species can become invasive, spreading rapidly and out-competing native species.

Typically, measures to protect biodiversity include:

  • Modified habitats. The client/investee needs to minimize any conversion or degradation of habitat and identify opportunities to enhance habitat and protect biodiversity as part of operations.
  • Natural habitats. The client/investee needs to ensure that habitat is not converted or degraded unless there are no other alternatives and the overall benefits of keeping operations in that locations outweigh impacts to the environment and biodiversity. In cases of any conversion or degradation, the client/investee needs to ensure that appropriate mitigation measures are implemented.
  • Legally protected areas. In cases where a client’s/investee’s operations are located within a legally protected area under national regulations, the client’s/investee’s operations need to comply with the requirements established in the protected area management plans and consult with protected area managers, local communities, and other key stakeholders.
  • Invasive alien species. The client/investee cannot introduce any new alien species unless this is appropriately managed within an existing regulatory framework or action plan to determine the potential for invasive behavior. The client/investee should prevent accidental or unintended introductions of any alien species with a high or known risk of invasive behavior.

If a client’s/investee’s operations involve the use of natural resources such as forests and aquatic species, these need to be managed in a sustainable manner, to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generation. A client/investee can demonstrate the sustainable management of these resources through a management plan or certification by an independent system of standards. Both should be based on objective and measurable performance standards and developed through consultation with relevant stakeholders and consists of fair, transparent, and independent decision-making procedures that avoid conflicts of interest. The sustainable management of natural resources involves the following:

  • Natural and plantation forests. The client/investee should not cause any conversion or degradation of critical habitat and give preference to land that has already been converted. The exploitation of natural forests and plantations needs to be independently certified against internationally accepted principles and criteria for sustainable forest management.
  • Freshwater and marine systems. The client/investee needs to demonstrate that the production and harvesting of fish populations or other aquatic species is conducted in a sustainable manner. If available, this includes certification by an internationally accepted system of standards.

  • FacebookTwitterLinkedIn
  • Share