The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Nedbank Limited, Hatch Goba, De Beers, Transnet, Pam Golding Properties and Pick n Pay, is proud to announce the launch of the National Biodiversity and Business Network (NBBN).
The aim of the Network is to assist businesses from various sectors to integrate and mainstream biodiversity issues into their strategies and operations. It is designed to be an open and inclusive association of likeminded organisations that have recognised the need to raise awareness of, and stimulate conversation about, biodiversity issues amongst the business community.
“Government and businesses are realising that the economic and social development of the country is dependent on healthy ecosystems and biodiversity. The South African National Development Plan: Vision 2030 confirms that national economic growth is dependent on the environmental sustainability of our proposed development path. The Plan refers to the need for transformation to ensure environmental sustainability by addressing the structural and systemic flaws of the economy and society with strength of leadership, boldness, visionary thinking and innovative planning,” said Dr Marie Parramon-Gurney, the EWT’s Head of Conservation and Business.
Our natural resources, including water, wildlife, soil and flora, are essential for the country’s development and businesses are, as a consequence, also inextricably linked to the wellbeing and sustainable use of these resources. Therefore, the management of natural capital has to become an essential component of the formal risk management and governance of businesses.
For organisations to remain competitive they have to identify their current and future impacts and dependencies on the environment. By doing so in a pro-active and collaborative approach, industry will also be able to identify opportunities related to the management of natural resources.
“In response to this new business imperative, the EWT has led the establishment of the NBBN in alignment with government's objective to build strategic partnerships in order to achieve an environmentally friendly developmental path. The EWT will be spearheading the activities of the NBBN in alignment with the model of the Global Partnership for Business and Biodiversity of the Convention on Biological Diversity and in collaboration with the founding and supporting partners, as well as the other members of the Network as they join in months to come.” Remarked Dr Parramon-Gurney.
The Network will provide a national platform to stimulate a strategic discussion about biodiversity and business and the development of a national agenda in this context. Amongst other things, the network will facilitate the development and provision of relevant information, tools, resources, benchmarks, pilot-studies and strategic support to businesses looking to mainstream biodiversity issues. In order to do so, the Network will organise various events, forums, training sessions and an annual conference. Any company can become a member or partner of the Network at any time,” commented Dr Parramon-Gurney.
The Network would not be possible without the buy-in of our founding partners, the DEA, Nedbank Limited, De Beers, Hatch Goba, Transnet, Pam Golding Properties and Pick n Pay. The EWT is committed to leading the activities of the Network and will ensure that the Network facilitates the development of collaborative, constructive approaches and solutions to guide the mainstreaming of biodiversity considerations into business and the economic development path of the country.