New study highlights the need for impact-focused biodiversity indicators for extractive companies

Biodiversity indicators are an essential tool for understanding and managing changes in biodiversity. In association withStuart Anstee and Associates, and funded by the Proteus Partnership, UNEP-WCMC carried out a scoping study to understand the needs and drivers for biodiversity indicators in the private sector.

We reviewed existing and emerging guidance and approaches to indicator development, and conducted interviews with eleven companies. The results of the study were discussed with more than 50 representatives from industry and other interested organisations at the annual Proteus meeting.

The study found that drivers for indicator development vary between the site and corporate level, making it difficult to define a single indicator that suits the needs of both site and corporate level stakeholders. For many companies, there are already monitoring activities underway at site level, but the aggregation of data and indicators to the corporate level is extremily difficult. The ability to scale-up on-site indicators is vital to the effective monitoring and reporting on biodiversity. The study also highlights that new biodiversity indicators should be impact focused, easy to communicate, sensitive to change and cost effective.

Four models for corporate indicator development were identified for further assessment, ranging from a single indicator for biodiversity to a framework approach. In the next phase of the project UNEP-WCMC and Stuart Anstee and Associates will carry out an in-depth review of the streamlined indicators and models to develop pilot methodologies that can be tested in collaboration with Proteus, IPIECA and other interested parties.

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