ESG briefing: World Wildlife Day
The 3rd of March is World Wildlife Day.
Did you know, that currently 12,259 species are known to be threatened with extinction – the equivalent of all the species in the Antarctic and Arctic regions together?
We are currently in a global wildlife and biodiversity crisis and urgent action is needed to avoid further irreversible damages to the living earth – and to human beings. Humans are dependent on wildlife and biodiversity, as it provides us with food, medicines and raw materials, and delivers many other goods and services that we need. Wild and diverse forests, for example, provide us with wood, oxygenate the air, purify water, prevent erosion and flooding, moderate climate, turn waste into nutrients etc.
Biodiversity – short for biological diversity – means the diversity of life in all its forms – the diversity of species, of genetic variations within one species, and of ecosystems.
Global action to fight the biodiversity crisis
In order to act against the ongoing biodiversity crisis, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) released in January 2020 a first draft of potential global biodiversity targets. These targets are to be discussed at the UN Biodiversity Conference in October 2020.
This draft can be considered as ‘Version 0’ of what could become the next Paris Agreement on biodiversity. It outlines 20 action-oriented targets to be achieved globally by 2030. These targets will contribute to five longer-term goals to be met by 2050 in order to achieve a world where: “biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.”
Biodiversity and the financial sector
Biodiversity is a complex subject, and the financial sector is generally facing issues to understand, measure and integrate biodiversity and wildlife measures into financial assessments. In addition to this, there is currently no common or agreed framework for financial actors on how to include biodiversity as a central part of investment processes. Nevertheless, with the introduction of the CBD global biodiversity targets, there is a chance that biodiversity as topic will get increased focus in the financial sector, which can eventually accelerate the developments of investment frameworks that will integrate the 20 action-oriented biodiversity targets.
To us at responsAbility, biodiversity and wildlife are important topics, and we are therefore continuously strengthening our ESG assessments by evaluating the integration of the proposed biodiversity targets from the Convention on Biological Diversity. We do this to ensure that our investments and activities in developing countries do not harm either biodiversity or wildlife.