In this issue  

  • Biodiversity Risks and Opportunities in the Apparel Sector
  • Video: Natural Capital – put a value on nature
  • NBBN past event
  • Upcoming national and regional events
  • International events, publications and news



Other News

The DEA-NBBN publication entitled “Overview of current approaches and practices of South African businesses to the mainstreaming of biodiversity: a preliminary baseline assessment” can be downloaded byclicking here.

Detailed proceedings of the 2015 National Biodiversity and Business Indaba are available for download click here.



Contact us

For further information on the NBBN or related activities please contact:

Michael Adams
Acting Manager: National Biodiversity and Business Network
Endangered Wildlife Trust
W + 27 11 372 3600 | Ext 64 | F + 27 11 608 4682 | C + 2783 680 7619
: | Web:



Welcome to the March 2016 issue of the National Biodiversity and Business Network (NBBN) newsletter

To distribute any biodiversity and business relevant information to the network in the next newsletter, please forward the information to Michael ( by the 25th April 2016.


Biodiversity Risks and Opportunities in the Apparel Sector





There is an increasing recognition among businesses that depend on natural resources for their raw materials that the risks associated with their operations and their dependency on biodiversity and ecosystem services can have major implications both for their financial and operational performance. Negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services from unsustainable business operations pose a number of risks to corporate performance. Some of these risks include for example the following areas:


Operational: increased scarcity and cost of raw materials such as freshwater; disruptions to business operations caused by natural hazards; and higher insurance costs for natural disasters.

Market: customers switching to more sustainably sourced or certified products; and governments implementing new sustainable procurement policies.

Regulatory: emergence of new government policies such as taxes and moratoria on extractive activities.

Reputational: damage to corporate reputation from media and NGO campaigns; shareholder resolutions; and changing consumer preferences.

Access to capital: restricted access as the financial community adopts more rigorous investment and lending policies.


In this context, in 2015, Hugo Boss and IUCN agreed to collaborate to gain a better understanding of the dependence and impacts of the company’s main product value chains (apparel and accessories) on biodiversity and ecosystem services; and to identify potential opportunities for mitigating negative impacts to biodiversity and ecosystem services across the value chains.


Download the full report here.


Video: Natural Capital – put a value on nature



An insightful talk presented by environmental economist, Pavan Sukhdev, on the economic invisibility of nature, the development of TEEB (the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity project) and how businesses can begin to unlock the true value of the natural resources. Click on the image above to view the full video.



Past newsletter

In case you missed last month’s newsletter, please find an online version here.


NBBN past events


9 – 13 November 2015, 8TH WORLD ESP CONFERENCE, Spier Wine farm, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa. The central theme was ‘Ecosystem Services for Nature, People and Prosperity’. The African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, the Natural Capital Coalition, the WBCSD, Conservation International, Hemporium, and the NBBN co-hosted the special session: “S5 - Ecosystem services in business” at the conference. For more information click here. 


Upcoming national and regional events



Rethinking “bankability” for Africa infrastructure. Throughout the last decade, Africa’s economic growth has been robust.  While this growth is expected to continue during 2016 for sub-Saharan Africa, it will likely not reach the region’s full potential due to ongoing global challenges and under-investment in infrastructure. Doubling-down on implementing infrastructure projects will thus be a critical step in enhancing Africa’s economic climate. Read the full article.

‘Africa Biogas and Clean Cooking Conference’

April 5-7, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The use of household biogas and bio-slurry has expanded across African countries. The Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP) has been implementing national biogas programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burkina Faso since 2009. A growing number of enterprises are delivering quality products and services to meet the increasing demand for sustainable biogas solutions; national markets are emerging. For more information click here.

3-8th July 2016. 51st Annual Congress of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa: Second Announcement. The Annual Congress will be hosted by the Western Cape Province at the Wilderness Hotel Resort and Spa, Wilderness, situated 10 km from George and 23 km from George Airport (airport shuttle will be available). The event will also include a Research Skills Workshop and an Invasive Species Workshop. More details here.





13th National Biodiversity Planning Forum, June 7-10th 2016, Wilderness, Western Cape. The Biodiversity Planning Forum, established in 2004, provides an opportunity for individuals, agencies and departments involved in spatial biodiversity planning to share and synthesise valuable lessons from systematic biodiversity planning projects across South Africa. Much of the biodiversity planning done in South Africa underpins strategic interventions and supports improved environmental decision-making. Further information about the Forum, including themes, fees and registration, is available here.


Earth Expo 2016 Montecasino, Fourways, 11-14th August. The Earth Expo aims to educate and inspire sustainable living. The exhibition will showcase a diverse range of products and services to encourage visitors to make more sustainable choices in their daily life. There will also be a number of informative workshops hosted by experts, which will cover a broad range of topics from permaculture, aquaponics, and gardening to health, nutrition, and building technologies. Visit the website here for more details.


African ESP Conference: The first Conference of the Regional Africa chapter will be held in Nairobi, Kenya on 21-25 November 2016.

The conference theme will be Ecosystem Services for SDGs in Africa and discussions will focus on Africa’s contribution towards data/evidence on best practices for management, rehabilitation/restoration of ecosystem services for decision making particularly towards the realization of sustainable development goals. Registration is not yet open.


International events, publications and news

March, 2016. New online platform: Natural Infrastructure for Business.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched the online platform, Natural Infrastructure for Business (NI4Biz). The ultimate objective of the initiative is that by 2020, companies systematically assess natural infrastructure options when investing in new sites or projects, thereby contributing to the protection, restoration and creation of new ecosystems. Access the platform here.


March 21st 2016. Climate factors fuel both gloom and boom for car makers. A new report, analysing 15 of the world’s largest automakers with combined market capitalization of US$846 billion, has found that tightening regulations on emissions are having a significant business impact in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal six months ago. Read a summary article here or view the executive summary.

The World Conservation Congress 2016, September 2016.

Every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together thousands of decision-makers from government, civil society, business and academia.  "Planet at the crossroads" is the theme of the next Congress, which will be held in Hawai'i, and a public Forum will take place from 2-5 September. For more information click here.


Sustainable Landscapes for People, Business and Biodiversity, 29 June - 2 July 2016. The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Asia section and the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) Asia-Pacific chapter invite you to join them at the National University of Singapore for the Asia Chapter Meeting, “Sustainable Landscapes for People, Business and Biodiversity”. For details and registration click here.


4 - 17 December 2016 - Cancun, Mexico. Thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.  The thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 13), the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP 8), and the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (COP-MOP 2), will be held back-to-back in Mexico. Registration documents available here.


If it pays, will it stay?

Regional biodiversity is back in financial focus with a draft 14-year Strategy published for the Biodiversity Economy of South Africa. This economy is seen as encompassing the businesses and economic activities that either directly depends on biodiversity for their core business or that contribute to conservation of biodiversity through their activities. Read more here.

Companies blind to climate risks in half of their supply chains, new study finds. Following the historic international deal agreed at the UN climate conference, COP21, and the news from Davos that climate change is the world’s most impactful risk, leading companies such as Dell, Unilever and Walmart are establishing the extent to which impending climate regulation will impact their business. However, half of their key suppliers fail to respond to requests for climate information, hindering efforts to understand and manage climate risk. So finds the largest ever study of climate data from suppliers and their corporate customers, read it here.


24th September to 5th October 2016, Johannesburg. CITES CoP17 venue and dates for 2016 in South Africa. CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) announced the world wildlife conference in Johannesburg in 2016 which aims to bring the global community together to tackle the world's biggest wildlife challenges and opportunities. For further information visit the CITES website or email.


Climate smart agriculture remains key to Africa’s Development, December 2016. Collaboration by various stakeholders including governments, NGOs and research bodies is needed now to rapidly scale-up the African agricultural sector to improve food security and resilience to climate change,” says Estherine Fotabong, NEPAD Programmes Director. Read article here.




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