The first meeting of IUCN India’s Leaders for Nature Advisory committee was held on the 7th January 2020 at IUCN India Country office. The meeting was attended by distinguished corporates and members of the LfN like TATA Steel, Hindustan Zinc Limited, ITC Limited, Aditya Birla Group among others. Participation also included IUCN member organizations i.e. Centre for Media Studies (CMS)- Vatavaran, and TERI who deliberated on LfN’s role to mainstream biodiversity into business operations and spread awareness on relation between climate change and biodiversity.
The discussion started with the need to differentiate between Corporate Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility for Corporates and the need to acknowledge that corporates are more inclined to work on and support issues related to climate change rather than biodiversity. Mr. Pradeep Singh, Head- Environment, Hindustan Zinc Limited rightly mentioned that climate change and biodiversity are inter-related and cannot be seen in isolation. Hence, the pull towards the benefits of LfN to corporates needs to be created. Mr. Sandeep Srivastava, Senior Vice President- Environment, Aditya Birla Group, highlighted that case studies of sustainability from leading corporates can be encouraging for other organizations in the sector.
The members agreed that the LfN programme needs to expand its reach to students while continuing its work with corporates. The committee also agreed to collectively target responsible corporates as well as youth who are the future decision makers to make them aware of the importance of biodiversity as well make them better aware on issues related to ecosystem management.
“IUCN’s good intend and brand name will pull corporates towards its Leaders for Nature programme which will benefit the companies in the long run” Mr. V. Vijay Vardhan, Manager- Operations, ITC Limited said. The committee also highlighted that the LfN presence on social media needs to be strengthened to enhance the overall programme’s outreach.
The members welcomed the formation of the LfN Advisory Committee and agreed on the overall roles. The Advisory Committee would meet every quarter to discuss the LfN actions and activities and advice on the same.