Business and Biodiversity

Oxford University

IUCN and Oxford University are working together to clarify the spectrum of biodiversity indicator applications for business. Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2017, the organisations have developed a process to guide the development and selection of robust and relevant biodiversity indicators for business.
IUCN and Oxford University project on biodiversity indicators.

In the first phase of the collaboration, biodiversity indicators have not be developed. Rather, this first phase defines the spectrum of applications where businesses use biodiversity indicators. This will serve as the foundation for a recommended process to guide companies and conservation organisations in the development of the fit-for purpose biodiversity indicators.

The work was organised around three work stages:

1.  Development of a draft corporate biodiversity accountability framework, including crowdsourcing and validation from selected representatives from different sectors and scale of operations (January–Aug 2018);

2.  Report development and peer-review (June 2018);

3.  Workshop with selected representatives from different sectors and governments to finalise the corporate biodiversity framework and identify gaps in indicators (September 2018);

4.  Outreach, including, during Natural Capital Week in Paris and a journal paper (July–December 2018).

Phase 2 of the collaboration has been determined based on the gap and needs analysis, and will be tailored to complement on-going work on specific accountability purposes of other conservation organisations. A proposal is under development.

The final outputs

As a result of these activities, IUCN and Oxford University have developed:

  • A report, The development and use of biodiversity indicators in business: an overview, outlining a decision-support framework to support businesses in identifying or developing robust and relevant biodiversity indicators for different corporate biodiversity accountability purposes.
  • The report will also be used as the basis for a peer-review paper for a business journal. (In development).
  • Finally, where gaps have been identified, proposal(s) for developing robust and relevant biodiversity indicators tailored to address the different indicator applications. (in progress)

The partners

The Initiative will be coordinated by IUCN through the Business and Biodiversity Programme, building on previous work on identifying indicator and reporting systems with corporate partners.

The IUCN Species Survival Commission and its work through the Species Monitoring Specialist Group will also be involved in order to build on their initiative to develop, test and roll out standards and tools for biodiversity monitoring across different stakeholders and sectors.

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science at the University of Oxford will be a key partner bringing conservation science expertise in the development of environmental monitoring, evaluation and reporting systems, and in indicator development to support environmental management.

Other partners have been consulted along the way.


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