A landmark report, recently released by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) calls for more effective cross-sectorial private sector action to conserve biodiversity.
In order to take such action, businesses often require better understandings of their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity.
While various tools and approaches are already used by business to measure changes in biodiversity across their value chain, the lack of standardised, comparable, credible and unbiased methodology to help them consolidate and report their impacts on biodiversity needs to be addressed.
This is why the Biological Diversity Protocol (BD Protocol) is being developed in close collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders through an online consultation process.
The Framework for the Protocol
The BD Protocol is designed as a comprehensive biological diversity accounting and reporting framework that can help you produce the credible and unbiased information needed for various biodiversity-related applications, from site management to disclosure.
The BD Protocol is an output of the Biodiversity Disclosure Project (BDP), managed by the National Biodiversity and Business Network (NBBN) of South Africa and hosted by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT).
While the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard was the benchmark standard for the vision and structure of the BD Protocol, the BD Protocol is aligned to the Natural Capital Protocol.
It helps provide biodiversity-specific guidance to measuring changes in the state of natural capital (step 6 of the Natural Capital Protocol), by providing guidance on how to measure change(s) in biodiversity components impacted by business.
The BD Protocol Guidance
This includes how to:
- Develop and manage a biodiversity impact inventory according to the appropriate organisational and value chain boundaries;
- Identify and determine material biodiversity impacts;
- Assess impacts on biodiversity, considering the nature of the biodiversity components impacted;
- Account for net changes in biodiversity, in accordance with the impact mitigation hierarchy and the associated equivalency principle;
- Apply the biodiversity accounting framework to build Statements of Biodiversity Position and Performance and account for biodiversity gains and losses over time;
- Validate and verify a biodiversity impact assessment;
- Disclose or report on an organisation’s impacts on biodiversity in a coherent and meaningful manner.
To ensure that the BD Protocol is robust and widely support, EWT is launching a consultation process hosted by the Natural Capital Coalition through Collaborase. It will last for three months until 15 August 2019, after which all comments, questions and contributions will be collected, analysed and summarised in a stakeholder feedback report for public release.
You can sign up to take part in the consultation here.
The BD Protocol will then be revised accordingly for official publication at a later date, prior to the 2020 CoP of the Convention on Biological Diversity which will be hosted by China. As part of this consultation process, any commentator may request to be recognised as a co-author or contributor to the BD Protocol.