RISK, REPUTATION AND REPORTING: DOES BUSINESS HAVE A BIODIVERSITY BLIND SPOT?

Megan Murison, Programme Officer, EWT National Biodiversity and Business Network

MeganM@ewt.org.za

Often the link between biodiversity and business can be difficult to identify. On 18 February 2020, the EWT’s National Biodiversity and Business Network (NBBN) hosted their annual Indaba under the theme of risk and reputation. The biodiversity economy of South Africa encompasses business and economic activities that either directly depend on biodiversity for their core business or that contribute to the conservation of biodiversity through their activities. Therefore, the aim of the Indaba was to provide a knowledge sharing platform to explore biodiversity relating to:

  • risk management and oversight
  • reputation management
  • increasing stakeholder activism
  • sustainable financing disclosure and reporting

The keynote speaker was Chief Directorate: Biodiversity Specialist Monitoring and Services, Wadzi Mandivenyi, who highlighted the desperate need for business to become aware of the risks as well as the benefits of biodiversity to their activities. Notable presentations included those by the JSE Limited’s Shameela Soobramoney, Reputation Matter’s Regine le Roux, and Tracey Davies of Just Share. The Indaba was well attended, with over 60 participants representing a wide variety of business sectors. The NBBN, as well as its partners, recognise the importance of biodiversity to business and aims to build the capacity of business to act as a positive force for the conservation of biodiversity in South Africa.