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IFC Sustainability

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Sector-specific Biodiversity Issues


What are the specific challenges of biodiversity management in particular industry sectors?


The relationship between business and biodiversity is more obvious in some sectors than in others. Agribusiness companies rely directly on fertile soils and a sustained supply of water, forestry companies depend on healthy trees, and parts of the tourism industry depend on wildlife and pristine destinations. While these sectors have a particularly clear incentive to maintain biodiversity, other sectors, including cement, retail, utilities, oil and gas, or mining, can be affected through equally strong drivers such as impacts to reputation or access to capital.

Biodiversity significance will also be dependent on your perspective: "where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit," to quote an old saying. Is a stand of forest a raw material supply, a hunting ground, a sacred grove, a green lung or home? Clearly it can be all of these things simultaneously and understanding the perspectives and value attributions of others is an important aspect of biodiversity management. The diagram below identifies some common stakeholders in the biodiversity debate and the type of risk or reward they can provide, depending on the response of a company to their perspective. Move your cursor over each stakeholder to see the risks and rewards.


The following links provide an overview of the major biodiversity issues relating to a selection of key industry sectors in which IFC operates. While not intended to provide a comprehensive analysis by sector, they outline key biodiversity issues for each sector, including the major business drivers, and highlight key sector initiatives and good practice.

 

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