“Planet at the crossroads” – key debates at next month’s World Cons ervation Congress
IUCN’s upcoming World Conservation Congress (1-10 September) will bring together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia to discuss and influence the global conservation agenda. Running up to the Congress, substantial discussion is already taking place on issues critical to you.
Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs)
Global Standard for the Identification of KBAs, to which TBC contributed, will be launched at the Congress. After extensive consultation, the new Standard has broad-based support within the conservation community. This will help KBAs become the definitive view of sites of global importance for conservation. Such a ‘one stop shop’ will be a big advance for both governments (to aid selection of areas for protection) and industry (to highlight areas to avoid or at minimum manage carefully – or to consider as potential offsets sites).
Some sites are so important for conservation that organisations have called for governments and industry to avoid any development. This has led to pledges such as those by ICMM members and Shell to avoid impacts in World Heritage sites. The Congress will debate a controversial motion calling on governments and industry to make ‘no-go’ commitments for all protected areas. Improving protected areas conservation is laudable, but in TBC’s view ‘no-go’ commitments are a blunt instrument – case-by-case approaches to careful management may give better conservation outcomes.
Biodiversity offset policy
TBC played a key role in the development of IUCN’s policy on biodiversity offsets , which should be approved at the Congress. This may stimulate many additional national offset policies – building on an existing trend, as shown by TBC’s recently updated Industry Briefing Note (IBN ) (in collaboration with the University of Cambridge) – see map below. Companies may soon need to plan for biodiversity offsets as a global business norm.
Following the recent launch of the Natural Capital Protocol, more and more companies are looking at how Natural Capital Assessment (NCA) can be useful to them. TBC is co-organising a workshop at Congress, with the Natural Capital Coalition and Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, to explore how NCA approaches can be scaled up.
TBC will be engaging in these debates and other emerging issues during the Congress. If you would like to discuss how they may affect you and your projects please get in touch (
enquiries@ thebiodiversityconsultancy.com ).