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Businesses play a developing role in biodiversity conservation

 

Chris Wille, Rainforest Alliance
Chris Wille, Rainforest Alliance

At an event held in connection with the BirdLife World Congress, companies from different sectors gathered to discuss the crucial and developing role the environment, and more explicitly, biodiversity management plays in strategic business development.

The key-note speech was given by Chris Wille, Director of sustainable agriculture at the Rainforest Alliance who said “Alliances between environmental NGOs and the corporate community are vital to ensure companies’ need for growth and risk management while improving their environmental footprint and engage in targeted conservation action.”

Two of the world’s largest extractives companies, HeidelbergCement and Rio Tinto participated to discuss the crucial and developing role the extractives industry plays in biodiversity conservation. The companies showcased case studies and best practice examples from their Partnerships with BirdLife that could be valuable also to other sectors. These explained joint strategic approaches to addressing biodiversity risk and opportunity that benefit both business practice and bring support to BirdLife’s biodiversity conservation agenda.

Dr Michael Rademacher, Global Manager for Biodiversity and Natural Resources at HeidelbergCement stated “Working in cooperation with local communities to preserve the environment is of core value to HeidelbergCement.”

Stuart Anstee, Chief Advisor – Biodiversity and Ecosystems Policy at Rio Tinto said “Working in cooperation with our biodiversity partners, such as Birdlife, is vital to meeting our corporate biodiversity targets and managing risk for Rio Tinto.”

The extractive industry has for many years engaged with BirdLife International with state of the art development of biodiversity action plans and implementation on the ground as results.

Jonathan Stacey, who is responsible for corporate relationship management at BirdLife International and who also convened the event, said “During my 12 years of managing and developing BirdLife Partnership collaboration with the corporate world I believe there is one key learning to be shared across all business sectors. Equitable partnerships, built on mutual respect and the identification of common values shared by business and civil society, can help create more sustainable outcomes for people, and for the incredibly diverse yet fragile ecosystems that we all depend on.”

Perspectives from other company sectors were provided by, among others, Dale Forbes from Swarovski Optik – the Austrian-based global market leader in high precision sports optical equipment.  Commenting on the value of working with BirdLife International,  he stated “Working with BirdLife gives us an opportunity to demonstrate our deep commitment to nature and engage with everyone who shares our passion.”

The companies presented case studies and best practice examples from their Partnerships with BirdLife that can be valuable also to other sectors. They explained joint strategic approaches to addressing biodiversity risk and the opportunities that benefit both business practice and bring support to BirdLife’s biodiversity conservation agenda.

The event showcased and explored the types of relationships that can help promote business needs for growth and risk management while optimising opportunities for best practice development and targeted conservation action.

Source: http://www.birdlife.org

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