Saturday, October 18, 2014

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity Launches Initiative on Global Biodiversity Impact Indicators for Commodity Production

Pyeongchang, 16 October 2014. Understanding that the impacts of agricultural commodity production on biodiversity are immense and that food commodity production has the largest environmental impact of any human activity, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity launched the Initiative on Biodiversity Impact Indicators for Commodity Production on World Food Day. The initiative includes partners such as WWF, IUCN, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and others.

Incomes and consumption are projected to increase to the point that it is expected that the world will need to roughly double food production by 2050. This implies incredible pressures on land and water, which efficiency and technology solutions will not be able to reduce sufficiently. It is key to achieve sustainable agricultural commodity production with less impact on biodiversity.

The purpose of the initiative is to identify the major types of impacts on biodiversity caused by global agricultural commodity production and to measure progress towards more sustainable production.

Based on these impacts, the initiative will then focus on formulating corresponding performance indicators in order to track performance around the major impacts identified. This will be clear and consistent for producers across various sectors and applicable to different regions.

“With the hands-on guidance developed by the initiative, commodity producers will be able to identify their impacts on biodiversity and to apply practices to reduce these impacts. It will be a major move towards more sustainable agricultural commodity production” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

“We will reach out to those commodity producers and companies that are not yet committed to sustainable business actions. It is a fact that a disproportionate amount of adverse environmental impacts from agricultural production is caused by only a few worst performing producers. If we can reach out to these companies by providing a basic guidance on how to reduce biodiversity impacts, we can really achieve major change” he said.

The initiative will also disseminate outcomes of this work to governments and standard bodies, and partners and networks who can take them into their own work. A number of initiatives on supply chains could make use of these indicators and guidance to urge that companies use them, contributing to broad mainstreaming of biodiversity on all levels.

The initiative allows for the integration and mainstreaming of biodiversity into agricultural commodity production activities on a wide scale - such that habitats and ecosystems are no longer threatened and such that food security in the near future can be achieved.

For more information on the initiative, please contact Kristina Neumann at

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