• What has happened over the last months
• What to expect for the next months
• Events not to be missed

• International
• Regional
• National




What has happened over the last months? Here are some of the key highlights of the National Biodiversity and Business Network (NBBN)

Since our last newsletter, the NBBN has been very active. We have organized 2 training sessions on mainstreaming biodiversity, one in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town. We held specific sectoral sessions, one on mainstreaming biodiversity into the Waterberg coal corridor, two sessions on investment in ecological infrastructure and finally one session on the mainstreaming of biodiversity into the agricultural supply chain.

The secretariat of the NBBN also attended the following meetings (only key meetings mentioned):

  • Sustainability into the supply chain – September 2013 (presented the work of the NBBN)
  • Global partnership on biodiversity and business – October 2013 (presented the work of the NBBN)
  • Biodiversity for Banks B4B –October 2013 
  • Mainstreaming biodiversity into local government (presented the work of the NBBN) November 2013
  • Global natural capital forum - November 2013 (presented the work of the NBBN)
  • South African Mining and Biodiversity Forum – Various meetings
  • Presented at the Fossil Fuel Foundation Conference on the mainstreaming of biodiversity into the Waterberg Coal corridor
  • University of Pretoria Chair on Biodiversity and Business – Various Meeting

For more detailed information about the latest activities of the NBBN, please see attached our latest progress report.

The newsletter is the result of a collective effort and outcome, a tool for you to get informed but also for you to use to communicate relevant information to the NBBN members. So if you have something you would like included in the next newsletter, please contact us directly. We are at the beginning of a journey and therefore all comments, suggestions, inputs, contributions and constructive critiques are welcome. We count on you to forward this newsletter to your colleagues and please tell them to contact us to become a member of the NBBN.

If you would like to become a supporting or founding partner of the network please contact

Kind regards

Dr Marie Parramon Gurney on behalf of the NBBN Secretariat

For further information, please contact the Head of Conservation and Business of the Endangered Wildlife Trust,
Dr Marie Parramon Gurney,, tel: 00 (27) 113723600.

What to expect for the next months? Here are some of the events and training sessions not to be missed.

The NBBN is busy planning the first National Biodiversity and Business Indaba which will take place on 4 and 5 November 2014 in Johannesburg. The draft program will be made available in May 2014.

The NBBN is currently busy with a scoping study which aims to assess and analyse the current practices and approaches of South African businesses to mainstream biodiversity. Please see attached further information on the aim and scope of the study. The objectives of the study encompass the following:

  • To assess the current understanding of companies about biodiversity and its importance in terms of economic development and the national development path.
  • To assess the current understanding of companies about the potential business risks, opportunities and dependencies related to biodiversity.
  • To understand the current key drivers for companies to mainstream biodiversity
  • To identify current business approaches to mainstream biodiversity (i.e. governance structure, policy, goals, collaborative efforts; partnerships; sectoral approach).
  • To identify the current mainstreaming management practices to assess, manage, monitor and report about biodiversity related matters; including strategies and tools currently used.
  • To conduct an initial identification of the key challenges and opportunities faced by businesses in relation to the mainstreaming of biodiversity.
  • To provide a direction and identify priority actions for the DEA and the NBBN to support businesses in mainstreaming biodiversity.
  • To provide an initial baseline assessment of the current business approaches and practices in South Africa, and to assess changes over time.

We will launch the report in June 2014.

Also note that we will from now on publish our newsletters twice a month to enable more regular flow of information and more updates.

Events not to be missed:

  •  17 June 2014 , 1 day workshop on “Mainstreaming Biodiversity into Business: WHAT, WHY, WHEN and HOW” (cost: R 500) – Venue: hosted by Rhodes Business School, corner Somerset & Prince Alfred streets, Grahamstown (limited to 25 attendees, so book your seat as soon as possible)
  •   18 June 2014, 1 day workshop on “Understanding the legal and Governance Framework related to biodiversity planning in South Africa” (cost: R 1000) – Venue: hosted by Rhodes Business School, corner Somerset & Prince Alfred streets, Grahamstown, (limited to 25 attendees, so book your seat as soon as possible).
  •  COP 12 and Global Platform on Biodiversity and Business: The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will engage in a mid-term review of the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi targets. The theme of the meeting will be 'Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.' The Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP MOP 7) will take place immediately before COP 12.  Dates:  6-17 October 2014, location:  Republic of Korea.  
  • Biodiversity and Business Indaba, 4 and 5 November 2014, Johannesburg
  •  IUCN World Parks Congress , 12-19 November 2014



Participants shared regional and national examples of good practice on green growth at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Expert Workshop on ‘Green Growth, Development Planning and Policy.' Participants emphasized the need to understand the economic rationale behind existing green business initiatives and the possibility to 'green' existing jobs, as opposed to creating more green jobs.

World Water Development Report 2014 Highlights Water and Energy Challenges,

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), with funding from the Government of Kenya and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), has released the Kenya Wetlands Atlas and Master Plan for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Water Catchment Areas in Kenya

2013 UNEP FI Global Roundtable -In the same week that China's leaders set a new path for economic reform, over 400 participants met in Beijing, China on 12-13 November 2013 to attend the UNEP Finance Initiative 2013 Global Roundtable, the flagship biennial event of UNEP FI that brings together high-level representatives from financial institutions, governments, regulators, civil society, academia and the scientific community to galvanize action to realign the financial system to finance a low-carbon, resource-efficient and sustainable path. Leaders from both the public and private finance sectors agreed that they both had central roles in shifting finance away from a business-as-usual and carbon-intensive economy towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and sustainable pathway. GRT Website:  and

Launch of the Online Guide to Banking & Sustainability . Since its launch at the GRT, the Online Guide to Banking & Sustainability, a tool to help bank employees actively integrate ESG issues into their work by learning from best practice case studies, has quickly become a global reference for banking institutions. Following the launch of the paper version in 2011, the online version homes in on the specific meaning of sustainability for the different areas of a bank and collates a wealth of current practices and approaches deployed by UNEP FI Members in each of these areas. Online Guide to Banking & Sustainability website:

The Plan Vivo Foundation announced the launch of the 2013 version of the Plan Vivo Standard for Community Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). The Standard can be accessed at

Wetlands training on valuation for decision- making. 50 Participants from across Africa attending the workshop on "Mainstreaming the values of water and wetlands into decision-making (25-27 November, Kampala Uganda) stressed and requested greater support to understand valuation techniques and how these could be applied. For more information, click here.

Pollination and land degradation top priorities for IPBES  The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) agreed at its second meeting (9-14 December, Antalya ,Turkey) approved its First Work Plan and Budget.

Placing a value on Africa's natural resources. African ministers, renowned economists, scientists and development experts met (3-4 December) at the Valuation and Accounting of Natural Capital for Green Economy (VANTAGE) conference in Nairobi.

Framework for valuing natural capital in business. TEEB for Business Coalition, International Finance Corporation, and Coalition members announced on 25 November the launch of a project to develop and pilot test a harmonized framework for valuing natural capital in business decision making.

Key outcomes of the Responsible Business Forum 2013, and

Key outcomes of the World Forum on Natural Capital, and

Launch of the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital,

The UN Global Compact launched the “Global Compact 100” at 18 September 2013 – a stock index of companies committed to the Global Compact ten principles that shows a total investment return of 26.4 percent during the past year, surpassing the general global stock market.

On 12 September 2013, the European Parliament has agreed to rules that would prevent EU companies, particularly in the pharmaceuticals sector, from exploiting the natural resources of the world's indigenous communities by recognising their 'intellectual property rights' over local biodiversity. An additional step forward towards the inclusion of indigenous communities and the protection against biopiracy.

Quarry Life Award launches edition 2014

IUCN Business Week, of the main topics of discussion throughout the week was the nature of transformational change.

The UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), together with BirdLife International and 13 other institutions, has developed 'The Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA).' TESSA is intended to guide non-specialists through a selection of methods to identify site-specific ecosystem services and specifies "winners" and "losers" as a result of the change of ecosystem service availability.

An assessment, titled 'Cities and Biodiversity Outlook (CBO),' underscores the need and the opportunity for cities to take ownership of critical ecosystem services to enhance biodiversity conservation and food security, in addition to reducing the overall ecological footprint of urban areas.

The UN Statistics Division has developed draft Experimental Ecosystem Accounting Guidelines, which outline concepts in ecosystem accounting. and

The magazine of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), ‘Our Planet,' has dedicated an issue to the theme of greening business. The magazine features stories by leaders from local and national governments, companies, and international organizations on a wide range of topics, including green growth, energy access, low-carbon development, and the conservation of water, forests and biodiversity.

The ‘System of Environmental-Economic Accounting 2012—SEEA Central Framework' (SEEA Central Framework), prepared under the auspices of the UN Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting (UNCEEA), has been released. The updated statistical framework is meant to help countries compile consistent and comparable data on environmental assets, and interactions between the economy and the environment.

In a land policy that states its commitment to “doing business the right way,” PepsiCo has announced its support for the 'Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure' and its recognition of its obligations to respect and protect the rights of local people. The Guidelines, which were initiated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), promote equitable access and secure ownership rights to fisheries, forests and land, with the aim of eradicating poverty and hunger, protecting the environment and supporting sustainable development.


Participants at the International Conference on Valuation and Accounting of Natural Capital for Green Economy (VANTAGE) in Africa agreed on a draft outcome document that takes stock of progress on natural wealth valuation and accounting, and formulates recommendations on increasing implementation of VANTAGE in Africa. Eight of the ten countries signatory to the Gaborone Declaration - Botswana, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania - attended a two-day meeting to discuss their experiences with valuing and managing natural capital. The countries considered the need to value natural capital better, and asked for more support with implementing Natural Capital Accounting (NCA), according to the Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) partnership. In a signed communiqué, the countries agreed to establish an interim secretariat in Botswana that would provide technical and financial support to countries willing to undertake NCA in the Africa region. The communiqué also urges stakeholders, in their discussions related to the post-2015 development agenda, to consider including the value of natural capital in the agenda and in the formation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The secretariat also will solicit more partners and countries in Africa to sign the declaration and "create a movement on natural capital being at the heart of all development decisions."

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched its inaugural Green Bond, which aims to provide funding for low-carbon and climate-resilient projects, focusing on, inter alia, programmes for sustainable energy and resilient landscapes.

The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has organized a meeting to discuss biodiversity mainstreaming and share lessons and best practices from the last decade, with the goal of informing future biodiversity mainstreaming activities.

Two regional workshops in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), addressed the relationship between green growth and natural resources management, including best practices on low emissions development strategies (LEDS).


Latest edition of WWF South Africa’s Sustainable Finance newsletter, which focuses on the Biodiversity for Banks (B4B) workshop hosted by WWF-SA and Citi, in partnership with the Equator Principles Association and Forest Trends and Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme, in Johannesburg.

The Department of Environmental Affairs is in the process of preparing an Environmental Impact Assessment and Management Strategy (“EIAMS”).  The purpose of the Strategy is to address the shortcomings within the current Integrated Environmental Management (“IEM”) system and processes contemplated in Chapter 5 of the National Environmental Management Act (“NEMA”).  One of the objectives of the Strategy is to more effectively enable sustainable development in South Africa. A first draft of the Strategy has been released for comment to all sectors represented on the PSC

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) announcde a formalised strategic collaboration to expand on the number of areas in which these two organisations are already working. The EWT and WESSA are among the oldest, most established conservation NGOs in the country and have a long history of collaborating on a number of successful initiatives.

The South African National Biodiversity Institute’s (SANBI) Grasslands Programme organized the Ecological Infrastructure and Water Security Dialogue on Wednesday 20 November 2013 which provided a cross-disciplinary forum for government, municipal managers, engineers, non-governmental organisations and business chambers to discuss the role of ecological infrastructure in South Africa’s water agenda. A highlight of this important event was a professionally facilitated panel discussion among high-level panellists from private and public sectors on “Ecological infrastructure and water security”. Followed by the launch of the uMngeni Ecological Infrastructure Partnership. This unique partnership aims to improve ecological infrastructure in the greater uMngeni catchment in order to ensure improved efficiencies in the delivery of water and sanitation services. and

Latest Grasslands Programme Newsletter

Biodiversity information has been used to create tools such as maps and guidelines that should, and in many cases must, be taken into account during land-use planning and development decision-making. Doing so helps to ensure that the region’s unique biodiversity persists into the future and continues to support the delivery of a range of benefits for local communities and Gauteng more broadly. The SANBI Grasslands Programme in partnership withthe International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI),and with the assistance of individuals from the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD), Metropolitan and District, and Local municipalities in Gauteng, have developed a Biodiversity Mainstreaming Toolboxfor Land-use Planning &Development in Gauteng. It has been created to equip users with the relevant tools needed to mainstream biodiversity priorities into land-use planning and decision-making processes in Gauteng.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a report titled 'Green Economy Modelling Report of South Africa - Focus on Natural Resource Management, Agriculture, Transport and Energy Sectors,' developed with technical assistance from the Millennium Institute and the Sustainability Institute, in collaboration with the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies of the Stellenbosch University.

2013 Environmental Performance Review of South Africa available,!

In order to make full use of its oceans’ potential, SA is developing a blue economy strategy. ‘The blue economy strategy will enable government to sustainably harness the abundant resources of the ocean and coastal domain’. Speaking at the Abidjan Convention’s 11th conference of the parties, held in Cape Town from 17 to 21 March, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said ‘pioneering’ work was being undertaken to develop environmental standards for offshore exploration and exploitation activities of mining and mineral resources in the region.

The norms and standards for ecosystem biodiversity management plans (BMP-Es) were gazetted in February with the aim of guiding the development of a consistent yet flexible nation-wide approach to managing terrestrial, freshwater and some marine ecosystems.



What types of financing are needed for green and blue corridors? Click for report
Analysing the contribution of biodiversity to wealth creation. Click for report
How to encourage businesses to commit to preserving biodiversity? Click for report
UNEP FI Measuring, disclosing and managing the carbon intensity of investments and investment portfolios Click for report
Environment indicator report 2013 EEA Click for report
Reverse the curse: Maximizing the potential of resource-driven economies Click for report
Values, payments and institutions for ecosystem management: A developing country perspective Click for report
Learning from 20 years of payments for ecosystem services in Costa Rica Click for report
Corporate Sustainability Report 2013 Click for report
CDP Global Water Report 2013 Click for report
Valuation without action? On the use of economic valuations of ecosystem services Click for report
Putting a price on value Click for report
Improving natural capital reporting Click for report
Business Guide to Water Valuation: an introduction to concepts and techniques Click for report
Natural benefits - On the values of ecosystem services Click for report
Fisheries in the Economies of Pacific Island Countries and Territories Click for report
Scaling-up Finance Mechanisms for Biodiversity Click for report
The GLOBE Natural Capital Legislation Study Click for report
Realising nature's value: Final report of the Ecosystem Markets Task Force Click for report
Guide to multi-benefit cohesion policy investments in nature and green infrastructure Click for report
Values, payments and institutions for ecosystem management Click for report
UNEP GEO 5 for business Click for report
The Concept Note published (February 2014) presents the case for and proposed outline content for a TEEB for Agriculture & Food study. The study will review the inter-dependencies between agriculture and food systems and natural ecosystems. Click for report



  • 17 June 2014 , 1 day workshop on “Mainstreaming Biodiversity into Business: WHAT, WHY, WHEN and HOW” (cost: R 500) – Venue: hosted by Rhodes Business School, corner Somerset & Prince Alfred streets, Grahamstown (limited to 25 attendees, so book your seat as soon as possible)
  • 18 June 2014, 1 day workshop on “Understanding the legal and Governance Framework related to biodiversity planning in South Africa” (cost: R 1000) – Venue: hosted by Rhodes Business School, corner Somerset & Prince Alfred streets, Grahamstown, (limited to 25 attendees, so book your seat as soon as possible)
  • 4-5 of November 2014, National Biodiversity and Business Indaba, Johannesburg NATIONAL EVENTS
  • 11th Biodiversity Planning Forum will be held from 13 to 16 May 2014 at the Mpekweni Beach Resort in the Eastern Cape Province.


  • Participants discussed the role of Africa's natural resources in supporting sustained economic development and growth at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting (AEGM), which took place under the theme ‘Making Natural Resources Work for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development. The meeting reviewed preliminary findings from a UNECA study on natural resources in Southern Africa, with the aim of making recommendations to UNECA's Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) on how Southern Africa can best use its natural resources to facilitate inclusive growth that contributes to poverty reduction and involves increased citizen participation.
  • The Green Growth Best Practice (GGBP) initiative released a ‘Synthesis of Key Findings,' a global assessment of best practice in green growth planning and implementation. The report outlines actions that enable successful green growth policies, with a focus on policies that simultaneously address climate protection and resilience and economic and social development. GGBP is run by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) with support from other funders and partners.
  • COP 12 and Global Platform on Biodiversity and Business: The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will engage in a mid-term review of the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi targets. The theme of the meeting will be 'Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.' The Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP MOP 7) will take place immediately before COP 12.  Dates:  6-17 October 2014, location:  Republic of Korea.  


We are pleased to announce that Transnet has appointed Daphney Phophi Ramaphosa as Senior Manager: Natural Capital Sustainability. This is a very progressive approach, which demonstrates the level of mainstreaming of biodiversity at a corporate level.