In Tenkodogo, Burkina Faso, IUCN's Business and Biodiversity Programme recently delivered a training workshop for civil society organisations (CSOs) on the foundations of business engagement as part of its Shared Resources, Joint Solutions (SRJS) project.
IUCN’s Nadine McCormick noted this workshop differed from previous trainings due to the high numbers of participants from the private and public sector. However, she said, it offered an opportunity to develop a shared understanding with the extractives sector on the importance of “global public goods” such as food security, water provision and climate change to their business model. Furthermore, the participants were able to discuss and validate specific behaviour changes needed by the different stakeholders in order to conserve global public goods in the Nakanbé basin.
Participants were also invited to visit a nearby gold mine, Youga Gold, and now the mining company and the local SRJS partners are in the process of developing a partnership.
As Mamadou Karama, Executive Secretary of IUCN Member AGEREF noted, the workshop “enhanced mutual knowledge and trust between CSOs and other stakeholders in the Nakanbé basin… resulting in a conducive climate for collaboration and improved dialogue between CSOs in the programme and certain stakeholders in the basin for the implementation of joint actions, which was not necessarily the case before the Tenkodogo workshop.”.
Why is IUCN supporting capacity building for CSOs on business engagement?
The United Nations 2030 Agenda calls for CSOs to engage in new partnerships with business, in order to address the biodiversity loss and the increasing demand on the earth's finite natural resources. CSOs, governments and businesses are key actors for achieving the global goals on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. For example, CSOs can be a catalyst in driving transformational change by providing constructive input and technical guidance to business, as well as help strengthen the enabling environment in which business operates, including legal and financial levers.
IUCN's BioBiz Exchange initiative is committed to empowering CSOs to engage with business, as key partners in the sustainable development journey between now and 2030. Learning is supported through face-to-face capacity building workshops and webinars. Curating case studies and lessons learned from the conservation community through PANORAMA Solutions platform is another key component to ensure such experiences are shared and can be replicated and scaled up locally and in other regions of the world.