Biodiversity, or biological diversity, refers to the variety of living organisms existing in a given environment. It includes the entire biological variability of genes, animal species, ecological niches and ecosystems. Etica is one of the co-signatories of a letter calling on States who are party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to develop a more substantial and ambitious set of regulations, the so-called Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).
Biological diversity, structured action required
The statement, signed by Etica and approximately eighty institutional investors from around the world, was published in view of COP15, the fifteenth edition of the conference for the parties to the Convention.
This commitment is an opportunity to influence the adoption of a framework that has: clear and action-oriented objectives, which have the capacity to include the private sector.
“As financial institutions, we recognise the need to protect and conserve nature for future generations“, the Statement reads. Furthermore, the signatories add, “the loss of biodiversity will have huge consequences for the global economy and exposes us to market risks, credit risks, liquidity risks and operational risks. It is impossible to generate value for our customers without a healthy biosphere”.
Why take a stand on biological diversity?
“Nothing is created, nothing is destroyed,
everything is transformed”.
According to the World Atlas of Desertification, published by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, every year, at a global level, an area equal to half the size of the European Union (4.18 million square km) is degraded. Africa and Asia are the most affected continents. In addition to being a major threat to biodiversity, according to the study, the planet could lose 10% of its global crop yields by mid-century. Biological diversity is also endangered by deforestation. Because of their ability to absorb carbon, forests are the planet’s ‘green gold’. An irreplaceable role in biological and economic terms.
In addition to this, there are also the problems of pollution and land degradation, leading to loss of plant and animal species. A study by LIPU (Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli – Italian League for the Protection of Birds) has calculated that by 2050, one million species could be at risk of extinction: an enormous level of responsibility. Other threats to biodiversity include wasting fresh water and the pollution of the oceans: bottles, packaging and other waste threaten to suffocate life in aquatic environments.
Etica, why we signed up
The initiative is consistent with Etica’s engagement activities, in particular, it is consistent with the systemic range of discussions linked to biodiversity and management of resources in relation to the Engagement Plan and with the project to carry out advocacy activities with States, regulators and standard-setters.
“The initiative continues on from the dialogue developed following the signing of the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, which in 2021 focused on the issues of deforestation and water resource management”.
Aldo Bonati, Etica Corporate Engagement and Networks Manager
A proposal from the Ceres and Finance for Biodiversity Foundation networks
This text is the result of a collaborative effort between the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation, a network with which Etica has opened a dialogue, following the signing of the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, and the Ceres network based in the United States.