Global leaders gathered at a virtual UN summit on Wednesday, with discussions focused on the theme “Urgent Action on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”. Many heads of state emphasised the importance of biodiversity, outlined their existing national commitments and stressed the need to accelerate global action. As part of the summit, 75 countries have already signed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature. The pledge’s 10 action points include putting biodiversity and climate action at the heart of Covid-19 recovery plans and ensuring that food systems meet people’s needs whilst staying within planetary boundaries.
Biodiversity and the ecosystems that underpin our societies and economies are under unprecedented levels of threat, with one million species at risk of extinction. The coronavirus pandemic has brought our fragile relationship with nature sharply into focus, as we have explored in our infectious diseases insight series.
Companies and their investors have an important role to play in halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity. Through our stewardship and engagement activities, we call on companies to:
- Acknowledge their dependence on nature and assess the risks associated with this dependence
- Identify, mitigate and reverse their negative impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services throughout their value chains
- Implement measures that will have an overall net positive impact on biodiversity
Priority actions for companies include ending and reversing deforestation, supporting the transition to regenerative agricultural practices and deploying nature-based solutions to address the dual challenges of climate change and declining biodiversity. Corporate biodiversity strategies must be accompanied by strong governance frameworks and transparent reporting on progress.
Global biodiversity goals for 2030 and 2050 are expected to be agreed at the biodiversity COP15 in Kunming, China, next year. Companies must be ready to contribute to the delivery of these goals by developing nature-positive products, operations and supply chains.