The New Frontier – Towards A Collaborative Effort by Financial Institutions to Integrate Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services into Business

There is growing recognition amongst companies of the need to better understand and integrate the management of environmental risks and opportunities into all aspects of business operations. It is also clear that humanity’s impacts on and dependency of biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) represent risks and opportunities for financial institutions (FIs) and their clients. Increasingly, members of the finance community are also responding to this increased recognition for natural capital, and the pressing need to understand systemic risk in a far more holistic way. Does the financial sector sufficiently understand, and therefore value and price the risks and opportunities related to BES? Such matters are increasingly pertinent for all FIs, and particularly those active in the primary economy and in resource intensive sectors. Now is the time to accelerate both the general recognition of and collective action for the integration of BES as a reputational, regulatory and potentially even systemic risk to economic and financial sustainability.
An important objective of this workshop is to discuss how to advance the understanding and integration of biodiversity and ecosystem service (BES) criteria and risk management, lending and investment products. To that extent we would like to hear from all participants what the best strategy is to go forward. In line with this, we will be highlighting the Biodiversity Principles that are being developed under the guidance of the VfU, as well as a UNEP FI Natural Capital Statement for Finance Institutions. This Statement is a crucial process to building momentum around biodiversity conservation, which commenced during the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, with inception workshops in London, at the CBD COP 10 in Nagoya Japan, and in Hong Kong with Credit Suisse. En route to the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, the financial sector has a unique chance to demonstrate that it takes the loss of natural capital seriously and is taking action. We’d like to hear from participants in Munich how to make that happen.
Ivo Mulder                                                                                 Irina Detlefsen                                                     Eva Kammerer-Kirch
Programme Officer                                                       Corporate Sustainability                       Coordinator
UNEP Finance Initiative                                       HypoVereinsbank                                             VfU
Please confirm your attendance by contacting Margot Hill ([email protected])