IUCN and global business leaders pledge to scale-up resilience to climate risks by focusing on nature-based solutions

Today, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) announced a new five-year partnership that will help businesses address global challenges, such as climate change and ecosystem degradation, by valuing nature.  

Paris, 7 December 2015 – At the WBCSD Council Meeting taking place from 7-10 December in Paris, the two organizations signed an agreement that aims to deliver joint solutions for conservation and business by scaling up resilience to climate risks through the delivery of nature-based solutions, promoting a net-positive gain for biodiversity, and creating more systematic  measurements, valuation and reporting.

“Today, business – one of the greatest engines of innovation - is increasingly recognised for its central role in helping deliver global goals for sustainable development and climate change,” said IUCN Director General Inger Andersen, addressing the WBCSD Council Meeting today. “The IUCN-WBCSD partnership mobilises our extensive global networks to promote new solutions that value nature and create opportunities for a healthier, more sustainable environment for all of society.”

Peter Bakker, President and CEO of WBCSD, said: “By investing in nature-based solutions, such as natural infrastructure, business can improve its resilience to climate risks while harvesting other environmental and social benefits. At the WBCSD, we are committed to developing sustainable approaches and tools that help companies integrate natural capital valuation into the core of their business and avoid further biodiversity loss.”
The agreement aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Integration of eco-systems considerations in core business strategy and systematic consideration of natural infrastructure as an alternative or a complement to grey infrastructure.
  • Where possible, business application of the mitigation hierarchy towards a net positive impact on biodiversity.
  • Systematic use of the Natural Capital Protocol - currently being developed - to inform business decision-making.

Both IUCN and WBCSD, under the auspices of the Natural Capital Coalition, are already leading consortiums to develop the Natural Capital Protocol, a comprehensive guide to measuring and valuing natural capital in business decision-making.  The protocol is currently being tested by 50 companies around the world and will be released in July 2016. 

This new agreement significantly contributes to the implementation of the WBCSD-led Action2020 agenda and IUCN’s Global Programme, supporting the SDGs, as well as the achievement of Aichi Targets defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity.  This agreement comes ten years after the two organizations signed their first MOU together.  Two years ago, WBCSD became the first global non-profit business member of IUCN.