Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in the Pakistani banking sector

08 October 2010 | Article

IUCN Pakistan and Barclays Bank have entered into a partnership agreement on 23rd September 2010 with the aim to encourage the incorporation of biodiversity conservation and social equity considerations into the business decisions of Barclays Pakistan.

The agreement signed by Mr. Shah Murad Aliani, Country Representative IUCN Pakistan and Mr. Arslan Nayeem, Head of Commercial Bank, Barclays Bank PLC will promote the mainstreaming of biodiversity conservation and social considerations into the business model of Barclays Bank in Pakistan.

One of the ways that the agreement aims to promote biodiversity conservation is through the development of a 25 hectare mangrove plantation along the Karachi coast. The area selected for plantation is densely populated and has become highly degraded over a period of time due to over exploitation and neglect. As well as preserving biodiversity and creating a green belt the plantation will also constitute a barrier to protect local communities from coastal calamities. During the recent Tsunami mangroves acted as a first natural defence line against the killer waves. The Karachi mangrove initiative will be linked to the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) programme through which IUCN has been building on a history of coastal management interventions in tsunami affected countries. Mangroves for the Future is heeding the call to continue the momentum and partnerships generated by the immediate post-tsunami response.

As one of the top ten financial institutions striving towards adopting a green approach to business, Barclays envisages that this engagement will increase its ability to influence green thinking within the broader banking community

The IUCN Pakistan –Barclays Bank agreement builds on IUCN’s strategy of seeking to engage the business sector in working towards a sustainable global economy, through effective partnerships with the conservation community. The role of IUCN’s Business and Biodiversity programme is to influence the private sector in realizing their responsibility towards environment, ecosystem values and sustainable development.