Company Implementation

Biodiversity and Business: The Connection

Biodiversity and business are fundamentally linked. For millennia, the goods and services derived from biodiversity has been the foundation of human survival. The goods and services humans derive from the environment, particularly the more complex ecosystems, have been and continue to be the backbone of many economies. However, the expanding needs and demands of a growing human population have caused a corresponding rise in environmental degradation, the vast majority of which is caused by habitat destruction. Approximately 60 percent of the benefits derived from natural ecosystems are currently harvested unsustainably by degrading systems (A.T. Kearney and WRI, 2008). This also affects the economy: Between the years 2006 and 2008 alone, the average world price for oil, rice, wheat, maize, and corn doubled, and in some cases, even tripled (A.T. Kearney and WRI, 2008).

Increased demand for food, other necessities, and, now with a strengthening global middle class, luxury goods has forced businesses to exploit resources in biological hotspots ill-fitted for agriculture or unsustainable harvesting methods. The resulting losses in biodiversity will harm business in the long term, and for this reason, many business leaders have identified the need to create more sustainable practices, particularly in agriculture and resource acquisition (i.e. mining and drilling), where the most damage to biodiversity is done. The private sector is slowly finding ways to manage biodiversity loss and ecosystem damage.