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New recommendations prompt businesses to act on biodiversity

The Danish Biodiversity Partnership has presented new recommendations for companies to help halt biodiversity loss by 2030 and restore nature both in the sea and on land. The tangible recommendations were handed over to the Danish Minister of Environment at Denmark’s biggest democratic festival, Folkemødet, last week.
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Denmark is making efforts to tackle the increasing challenges threatening both local and global biodiversity. With the EU Biodiversity Strategy leading the way, new initiatives are being made to support plants, animals and ecosystems in the future.

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To enhance companies’ efforts to protect global biodiversity, The Danish Ministry of Environment established the Biodiversity Partnership in May 2023. This was initiated in response to requests from several companies, business and industry organisations, and NGOs seeking greater clarity and collaboration on business biodiversity initiatives.

The Biodiversity Partnership has been tasked with delivering recommendations to companies, authorities, and knowledge institutions to promote and support effective voluntary biodiversity efforts among businesses.

The recommendation was handed over to Minister of Environment, Magnus Heunicke, at this year’s Folkemødet, one of the biggest democratic events in Denmark.

“We urgently need to stop the global loss of biodiversity, and we must collectively contribute to solving the biodiversity crisis. With the Biodiversity Partnership, Danish businesses are taking responsibility for ensuring that companies contribute more to halting the loss of biodiversity. This is important work, and I will now carefully review the partnership’s recommendations to see how we can better support companies’ efforts,” Magnus Heunicke, Danish Minister of Environment.

Related news: New alliance between Danish Ministry of Environment and the business community will strengthen biodiversity

The Biodiversity Partnership recommends:

  • Companies map their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity, avoid or reduce negative impacts on biodiversity, and contribute to protecting and restoring biodiversity, as well as to overall biodiversity progress.
  • Industry and business organisations work to ensure that companies avoid or reduce their negative biodiversity footprints, contribute to nature restoration, and support overall biodiversity progress.
  • The government and authorities support businesses in developing and improving biodiversity efforts, lead by example in reducing their biodiversity impacts, and contribute to overall biodiversity progress.
  • Knowledge institutions focus on data and knowledge building that supports businesses’ and authorities’ work on biodiversity.
  • The broadly composed Biodiversity Partnership should continue and collectively establish thematic sub-working groups to support companies’ biodiversity efforts further.

By October 2024, the Ministry of Environment must provide feedback to the Biodiversity Partnership on the recommendations for authorities and the government.

Read the full report here (in Danish)

New recommendations align with EU Nature Law

The new recommendations land just as European Union countries have passed the Nature Restoration Law on Monday 17 June, requiring member states to introduce measures restoring nature on a fifth of their land and sea by 2030. Being the first green law to pass since the European Parliament elections this month, the outcome is marked as a huge win for Europe’s nature, climate action, citisens and future ny WWF.

“Businesses consume nature’s resources in their value chains, but these resources are far from infinite and will become scarce in the future if companies do not act on biodiversity. When businesses should understand, map, and minimise their impact on biodiversity, it is fundamentally about foresight and, in the long term, about the companies’ own conditions.” Carsten Rahbek, Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Copenhagen

In addition to the recommendations, the Biodiversity Partnership has formulated a common mission and vision that sets goals for companies’ efforts. The vision of the Biodiversity Partnership is for businesses to contribute to solving the biodiversity crisis and help meet the goals of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the global Kunming-Montreal biodiversity agreement to halt global biodiversity loss by 2030 and ensure biodiversity progress by 2050. The mission is for businesses to contribute to halting biodiversity loss by 2030 and aid in restoring nature and biodiversity both in the sea and on land.

“We are pleased that the Environment Minister took up the challenge when DI and WWF recommended a partnership back in 2022, and it means that we now have a set of recommendations that set a common direction for many different actors, including businesses, authorities, and knowledge institutions. We have scratched the surface and are on the right track, but we also need to become more concrete so that we can take action. This could be, for example, when dealing with a particular material flow – it could be wood and timber, coffee, or something else entirely. Therefore, we are also pleased that there is a common recommendation that the partnership should not stop here.” Karin Klitgaard, Deputy Director at the Confederation of Danish Industry

“We see it as a positive sign that the broad partnership has agreed on the recommendations, as this can help ensure consistent guidelines and frameworks for companies’ important work on biodiversity. We now look forward to the Environment Ministry’s feedback and to working purposefully to contribute to biodiversity and nature throughout the value chain, both nationally and internationally.” Merete Juhl, CEO of Agriculture & Food

The Biodiversity Partnership

The Biodiversity partnership’s aim is to strengthen companies’ voluntary efforts to protect nature. The chairmanship of the Biodiversity Partnership is handled by the Danish Ministry of Environment. The following organisations are members of the partnership: DI – Danish Industry, Danish Chamber of Commerce, Danish Agriculture and Food Council, DAKOFO, Danish Forest Association, Green Power Denmark, Danish Fashion and Textile, Finance Denmark, Insurance & Pension Denmark (F&P), CONCITO, Organic Denmark, The Danish Society for Nature Conservation, Global Compact Network Denmark, WWF, 3F, Ocean institute, Danish Fischers PO, Lederne, University of Copenhagen, University of Aarhus, and Copenhagen Zoo.

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