Working with private sector to make a difference

06 September 2011 | News story

Working with the private sector can bring about environmental and social benefits. Discover some of the experiences and views of our members in South America: from initiatives with biodiversity-dependent industries such as fisheries, agriculture and livestock, and tourism sector, to oil construction sectors, to development agencies for investment.

MarViva Foundation has had an interesting experience of engagement with the private sector in the marine environment, with participation from members of the Commission of Protected Areas.
Thanks to the interest of a major restaurant chain in Bogotá to act responsibly both socially and environmentally, a group of fishermen from Bahia Solano, in the Colombian Pacific, are striving to strengthen their management of capture, marketing, administration cold rooms, etc. In parallel, better marketing of the product allows to promote the implementation of sustainability criteria and responsible fisheries. Quality requirements generated a major local income for fishermen.

Boticário Group Foundation was born from Boticário, a cosmetics brand that originated in the city of Curitiba and which now has more than 2,500 retail stores in six countries. The Foundation works in Brazil. Their actions include protection of natural areas, support to projects of other organizations, awareness and mobilization of society for the conservation of nature. They work with ecologically and socially correct alternatives to maintain a sustainable and culturally accepted business.

Von Humboldt Institute of Colombia is working with the National Hydrocarbons Agency and the state oil company (Ecopetrol). Through their collaboration, they have designed, a portfolio of biodiversity conservation priorities in their areas of operation and a mechanism for integrating this information into a support system for making business decisions.

There are also experiences in Colombia with the tourism industry that have made an impact on sector best practices in protected areas, led by Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia. In Argentina, municipalities are working on clean production and biodiversity issues.
The construction industry is working hard on "green homes" in some regions, with interesting facts to share. There are also initiatives in Paraguay to support best practices in meat processing and sustainable natural grassland cattle production.

These are just some examples of initiatives that show that you can work with the private sector for the conservation of nature.

From the IUCN members’ perspective IUCN's role in working with the private sector has several strategic action lines, including: advisory, research, information, assessment, planning, criteria, guidelines and tools for best practices including governance and transparency; citizen participation, education, awareness, training, integration, dialogue, impact studies and risk analysis, incidence into policies, regulations and investments.

For more details and examples see the Regional Forum web page