Trading floor of the Palace of Madrid Stock Exchange. Image: Madrid Stock Exchange  Biodiversity loss is recognised as a planetary emergency, as it is occurring at rates unprecedented in human history according to recent landmark reports on the state of global biodiversity and ecosystem services and global risks. Given the increasing focus on biodiversity, public policies at national, regional and global scale, as well as the investment community and sustainability-oriented customers are demanding more transparency from business sector in terms of biodiversity-related issues disclosure and reporting.  What is the situation of the Ibex 35 listed companies in this regard? To what extent is biodiversity a relevant or potentially relevant issue for them? How are they responding to the risks posed by their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity? To shed light on these questions, Ecoacsa Reserva de Biodiversidad and the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) have signed a Collaborative Project Agreement (CAP) to assess the performance of all IBEX 35 with respect to the integration of biodiversity into their operations. The aim of this project is to evaluate the level of awareness of the importance of biological diversity incorporation into activities, plans and strategies of the selective Ibex 35, to identify key gaps and strengths with regards to biodiversity risk and performance disclosure in Spain. Ecoacsa will conduct the assessment along with Polytechnic University of Madrid according to a transparent methodology developed by the EWT, based on publicly available data, including corporate websites, annual reports such us annual integrated reports and sustainability reports. This initiative takes place within the Biodiversity Disclosure Project (BDP), supported by the National Biodiversity and Business Network (NBBN), which was established by the EWT in 2013 and is member of the  Global Partnership for Business and Biodiversity (GPBB) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Biodiversity Disclosure Project is a framework that provides companies with a practical avenue through which to consolidate and report annually on their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity a standardised and comparable manner. Ebro river landscape. Image: Pixabay.com Credible and unbiased information One of the BDP´s outputs is the Biological Diversity Protocol (BD Protocol), developed in close collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders and  designed as a comprehensive biodiversity impact accounting and reporting framework that can help produce the credible and unbiased information needed for various biodiversity-related applications, from site management to disclosure. The BD Protocol helps companies consolidate all their biodiversity impact information across their operations and value chains. This process involves several key steps, from developing and managing a biodiversity impact inventory according to the appropriate organisational and value chain boundaries, identifying and determining material biodiversity impacts to disclosing or reporting on an organisation’s impacts on biodiversity. The information produced is also useful to stakeholders, investors, policy makers and non-governmental organisations as it provides the evidence needed to make informed decisions. Improving the biodiversity disclosure of reporting organisations will enable benchmarking with peers across and within industries, pushing for continuous improvement to minimise risks, reduce costs and seize new opportunities. While the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (i.e. the GHG Protocol) was the benchmark standard for the vision and structure of the BD Protocol, it is aligned to the Natural Capital Protocol. It helps provide biodiversity-specific guidance to measuring changes in the state of natural environment, by providing guidance on how to measure change in biodiversity components impacted by business. Context Biodiversity – the essential variety of life forms on Earth – is at serious risk with over one million species threatened with extinction and its continued decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature’s capacity to underpin economic activity and contribute to people’s well-being. This ecological crisis is widely recognised by landmark reports on the state of global biodiversity and ecosystem services (IPBES, 2019) and global risks (Global Risk Report 2020 and Nature Risk Rising by World Economic Forum) rating biodiversity loss as “the second most impactful and third most likely risk for the next decade” and calling for more effective action from all economic and social agents to conserve biodiversity. To a lesser or a greater extent, all businesses affect and rely on biodiversity, directly and indirectly, and the many key ecosystem services it provides, for example, in the form of nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, pest regulation and crops pollination, flood attenuation, erosion control, sustain agricultural productivity and many others. Biodiversity underpins economic development, but it is threatened globally and its ability to continue to provide the goods and services that supports economies and societies is failing. The biodiversity loss affects society as a whole, and in particular those companies that are highly dependent on the secure supply of a number of nature-dependent commodities and other resources that biological diversity provides. Understanding risks and opportunities associated to dependencies and impacts of business sector on biodiversity is increasingly recognized as a key sustainability factor for many organisations as they are explicitly referred to play their part in high-level global agreements and national and regional regulations by managing biodiversity better and reducing their footprint on it. Examples of the latter are the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Aichi Targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 of the Convention of Biological Diversity (currently negotiating the post-2020 global biodiversity framework), and the European Union Green Deal.   By assessing the biodiversity mainstreaming performance of the 35 most liquid securities traded on the Spanish market, expected outcomes will provide a real picture of the materiality of biodiversity for Spanish businesses. This information will also help us to know whether biodiversity remains a challenge across the largest Spanish companies by market capitalisation or key progress has been made and can provide direction and momentum to other enterprises at national and international scale. Joint press release download ...

This 2020, the protagonist of World Environment Day is biodiversity. In this infographic we collect some objectives established by the European Green Deal, the new EU Biodiversity Strategy and the zero draft of the new global post-2020 biodiversity framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity that seek to halt biodiversity loss and promote its conservation and ecosystem restoration. Click on the image for a better resolution of the animated infographic. Comparte Facebook-f Twitter Linkedin-in ...

LIFE Institute has launched a public consultation to obtain feedback on the International Standard on Sustainable Territorial Management it is developing along with a wide range of stakeholders. The Standard aims to establish clear rules so the local actors (public and private, in urban and rural areas) can adapt and coordinate their actions to jointly promote sustainability. The project is aligned with the purpose of achieving a sustainable territorial management that harmonizes health and prosperous societies with the maintenance of biodiversity and productivity of the ecosystem in the long term. To deal with this challenge, LIFE Institute, Itaipu Binational and Itaipu Technological Park are working together to launch an International Standard on Sustainable Territorial Management. The Standard aims to establish clear rules so the local actors (public and private, in urban and rural areas) can adapt and coordinate their actions to jointly promote sustainability. The Standard will also function as a diagnostic tool, applied through a software, which will allow defining and monitoring strategies and good practices in the territory, considering its Economic, Environmental, Social and Cultural aspects. According to FAO, Sustainable Territorial Management combine technologies, policies and activities aimed at integrating socio-economic principles with environmental concerns so as to simultaneously: maintain or enhance production and services (productivity); reduce the level of production risks (security); protect the potential of natural resources to prevent soil and water degradation (protection); be economically viable (viability); be socially acceptable (acceptability). This consultation is open until 19th of July, 2020, 23:50 (UTC-3/Brasilia Time).   Answers and feedback received will be published, anonymously to preserve individual confidentiality, in a public report that will be provided to stakeholders and will be available on LIFE Institute website. General instructions After the reading and analysis of International Standard on Sustainable Territorial Management-Principles and Criteria draft version of the document (available here) you will be able to make suggestions for Standard's criteria. The form presents the Principles and Criteria of the International Standard on Sustainable Territorial Management, as follows: Principle (P): a fundamental issue underlying the concepts of International Standard on Sustainable Territorial Management according to its premises. Criterion (C): description of a procedure to comply with a principle. The numbering conforms to the following hierarchy: Principles and Criteria in the following format: Pn.Cn, wherein “n” refers to the sequential number (P1.C1 : Principle 1, Criterion 1. Along the form, your analysis will be performed by Principle, separately, following number sequence.  Important information Time estimated for completing the form is 30 minutes; You can click in "Save & Continue later" button to save your answers and finish completing the form later. Please make sure you return before closing date on 19th of July, 2020, 23:59 (UTC-3/Brasilia Time). Your contributions will only be send for analysis after submitting the form through pressing the "Done" button available on the last screen of the form; When clicking "<" button the information typed on the current page will be lost; To move forward on the form with the registered information, click "Next" button. If you consider to participate, please click on the following link to fulfill the form. Consultation Share Facebook-f Twitter Linkedin-in ...

During our involvement along with another experts in the second preparatory lab of the “4th edition of Madrid Cities Forum”, discussion of the organisation of this two yearly meeting was focused on urban renaturalisation and the need to increase cities resilience through Nature-Based Solutions. Some of the conclusions reached during debating are that cities are disconnected from natural environment and in many cases they are also detached from peripheral realities. This leads to the need of enabling an appropriate ‘strategic planning’ and efficient communication to “make progress towards a regenerative system” more similar to how nature works. Our Executive Director, David Álvarez, highlighted the key role that natural capital approaches and its associated accounting plays in the understanding the value that nature provides to cities. In this regard, he stated that work under way to develop environmental accounting models and growing or wealth indicators that go beyond GDP at European and global scales, to help people to understand the value of nature. David also emphasized that important training and dissemination work is needed so that the relevance that natural assets and ecosystem services that environment provides gets across to society and business sector. “ We are not talking about profound changes, but to have a range of basic knowledge to integrate biodiversity. Technical capacity exists and we know a lot so that what it is needed is the willingness to chage”, he outlined. Read the whole article published in Ciudad Sostenible (page 36). Comparte Facebook-f Twitter Linkedin-in ...

Statement of the 50 member organisations of the Spanish Green Growth Group (GECV), –to which Ecoacsa belongs- in the face of COVID-19 pandemic:   The health crisis of COVID-19 is the most important crisis that society is facing since the Second World War and measures taken to address it are triggering a paralysis of significant economic and social activities at a global level.   In the short term, governments –with the support of the whole civil society- are focusing all efforts on addressing an unprecedented health crisis we are facing and softening the adverse short-term effects of the closure of the economy (fiscal measures, liquidity to makerts…).   In this context, business community in general, and in particular GECV member companies have taken a very active part in the short term response by providing resources to society, business solutions and easy payment terms, specially to those consumers who are part of the most vulnerable groups.   In the medium term, multilateral institutions and governments are working in economic stimulus packages and policies which will bring and injection of billions euros to the economy, with the aim of contributing to the dynamization of the economic growth and to promote employment recovery.   The GECV member organisations consider that these stimulus should fall within and must be in line with actions to address the most pressing challenges in terms of climate action and sustainability, within the roadmap towards a net zero emissions economy by 2050. A economic sustainable and robust growth path will thus be strengthened which will deliver prosperity.   Initiatives that must to be tackled as a matter of urgency in the short term, should not undermine resources and opportunities to reorienting the economic model towards this direction.   Consistent with our position, the GECV supports at European level and in line with the declarations of the President of the European Commission herself, Ursula Von der Leyer, the EU Green Deal full enforce as a policy roadmap towards economic recovery by adopting decarbonization and digitalization as the major strategic lines of action.   In the case of Spain, the GECV believes that accelerating investment associated with the Integrated Energy and Climate Plan and the adoption of the Climate Change Act are a vital starting point to establish the foundation of a strong recovery, aligned with climate objectives and the sustainable development agenda. The Spanish Green Growth Group is comprised by 50 organisations of all sizes and profiles. They account for more than half of the IBEX35 turnover and close to 40 % of the selective IBEX35 index are already part of the GECV. In terms of employment, it accounts for about 5 % of the Spanish working population, and a growing innovative SMEs representation providing and ambitious approach to seize opportunities resulting in creating value and prosperity in view of environmental challenges is also part of the group. The Spanish Green Growth Group is currently an association created to promote public-private partnership and to make progress to respond to environmental challenges. Climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions, the decarbonisation of the economy and the promotion of a circular economy will undoubtedly come from the business fabric and are essential in a prosperous society. Twitter Linkedin Facebook ...

The third edition of the Conference Series of Business Economy organised by the Teaching Unit of Business Organisation (UDOE) from the Superior Technical of Forest Engineering and Natural Environment (Polytechnic University of Madrid) is already running. As in the two previous editions, Ecoacsa will participate. In this occasion, our Executive Director will present a conference on the “How sustainability can be financed." This session will take place on April 30th at 15:00 pm.Current society, composed by numerous agents including business sector, need to address multiple risks associated with its activities not previously considered as priorities but which are becoming increasingly important. Risks management associated with natural capital and how to incorporate this aspect to a sustainable finance system are beginning to be a clear necessity to be addressed.If you are interested in registering to the conference, click on the following link. Click here for further information on the conference. Share Facebook-f Twitter Linkedin-in ...

Pond containing plants by using organic networks and coconut fiber batts to control soil erosion, retain sediments and humidity to facilitate re-planting in Plataforma Central Iberum (Illescas, Toledo) Green Building Council España (GBCe), Ecoacsa Reserva de Biodiversidad and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have signed a collaboration agreement to work together to develop actions that promote sustainable building in Spain and at European level. They will cooperate by incorporating biodiversity-oriented design of business and industrial premises (BOP).The agreement is framed within the objectives of the EU LIFE projects LIFE Level(s) and LIFE BooGI BOP. The first aims to promote a voluntary assessment framework that will lead to increase sustainable buildings in the European building stock. Level(s) also encourages taking into account the life cycle of the buildings to address environmental and climate risks. The LIFE BooGI BOP project promotes BOP design as part of green infrastructures such as biotope corridors -specially in urban and periurban areas in Europe- that are also able to improve the well-being of individuals and society.Among actions that will be developed within the agreement, signing entities will cooperate organising training and awareness-raising sessions targeted at buildings maintenance staff, , architects, builders, developers, manufacturers or building, members of professionals associations and other experts from construction and building sectors.The content of these sessions is designed to inform, raise awareness and empower attendees to support biodiversity protection and its strengthening within their workplaces, while at the same time make their buildings and environments more sustainable, and enhance working atmosphere and employee’s´ well-being.Another common line of working, which is associated to GBCe´s certification tools, will consist in defining ways to measure impacts that the management of building and construction sectors has on biodiversity and ecosystem. That is, how activities from both sectors affect benefits that nature provides to society such us food, wood, fiber, clean air and water, carbon sequestration, soil stabilization and pollination, among others.Research is one of the cornerstones of both LIFE projects involved in the agreement whose promoters have agreed to cooperate in this field. Specifically, they will design activities both at national and international scale to develop methods which make it possible to value the positive impact of biodiversity on architecture in environmental, social and economic terms. The agreement is therefore seeking enhance Nature-based Solutions as a means of fostering sustainability in building sector.One of the objectives of the agreement is to collaborate with public administrations, universities, corporations practitioners, national and international organisations and associations in disseminating principles and good practices on sustainable design and construction of buildings.Synergies, knowledge and resources shared for achieving the purpose of the agreement are expected to help accelerate the transformation of the building sector towards a sustainable building.Objectives pursued by the framework agreement are aligned with the European Green Deal, which advocates for transformative changes in all of the economic and social spheres, including construction and building. The European Green Deal is aligned with the Paris Agreement on climate change and its aim is to ensure that Europe has a zero-emissions economy by 2050, and protects our environment to enhance individuals’ well-being and working atmosphere in businesses. In addition, it is an integral part of the EU strategy for implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Share Facebook-f Twitter Linkedin-in ...

Nature is essential to the future of the planet, but natural resources are being used up faster than the Earth can replace them. Through understanding and considering the risks and opportunities created by nature, businesses can make better decisions that benefit themselves, society and the planet as a whole.We Value Nature is an EU Horizon 2020 three-year campaign that seeks to boost uptake of the use of natural thinking, natural capital accounting, nature-based solutions and green infrastructure by businesses across Europe to make valuing nature the new normal. These approaches can contribute substantially to a sustainable and resilient economy, which is crucial in the context of the current ecological and climate crisis where environmental risks continue to dominate the global business and economic agenda.Considering the growing risk of climate change and natural disasters, there is a clear sense of urgency to integrate nature into the decision-making processes of the public and private sector accelerating the mainstreaming through different approaches such as natural capital assessment, natural capital accounting (NCA), Nature-based Solutions (NbS), Green infrastructure (GI) and ecosystem-based approaches.In order to encourage governments to take comprehensive action to reverse nature loss and restore the planet’s vital natural systems, the business community has a critical role to play in demonstrating that the safeguarding of nature makes economic sense, also in identifying the policies and mechanisms needed for global systemic and transformative change. To foster a sense of shared ownership over the agreements and outcomes, the private and public sector can benefit from pursuing joint action.We Value Nature is currently carrying out together with Ecoacsa a pilot project to identify opportunities to strengthen collaboration between the public and private sector through assessing the options, benefits and best practices of protecting nature, enhancing the functions of ecosystems and restoring degraded land in a specific nature area in the Mediterranean area, Cabo de Gata-Níjar (Andalusia, Spain), by reinforcing the integration of natural capital in decision-making processes.To identify different natural capital approaches that benefit local stakeholders from public and private sectors and society In order to achieve this, we are searching for case studies that demonstrate successful actions for valuation of natural capital, ecosystem restoration, nature conservation and the effective integration of ecosystem services approaches in decision-making. The case studies will be assessed and the most successful ones in terms of demonstrated leadership and results will be compiled into a publication of best practices to support interested public and private sector stakeholders to learn and replicate these actions.  Case studies that could be eligible should come from ecotourism sector, eco-agriculture, and agroforestry. Assessment of case studies Located in a dry and semi-arid habitat in the Mediterranean coastal protected area (in the stream southeast of the Iberian Peninsula in the most arid part of Europe) Extension: it covers 46,000 hectares, of which 12,000 hectares are in the marine zone to a depth of 60 meters Arid climate (conditioned by the proximity of the Sahara Desert and the influence during most of the year of the Azores anticyclone) Low precipitation rain (rainfall below 200 mm a year) Average yearly temperature between 15-22 °C Abundance of semi-arid plant formations with fan palms Together with numerous endemic species specific to the zone are many other species characteristics of Saharan flora In this area there could be found different protected species (fauna & flora) Intensive greenhouse agriculture and increasingly, the tourism and tertiary sector) Protection classifications: Maritime and Terrestrial Natural Park, Specially Protected Bird Area (SPBA), Internationally Important Wetland (Ramsar Convention), Geopark, Specially Protected Area of Importance for the Mediterranean (SPAIM) Selected projects will be assessed according to objectives, scope, level of ambition, impacts, and dependencies on natural capital, valuation (qualitative, quantitative, and monetary), lessons learnt, project funding, and integration in the decision-making process. We Value Nature will profile projects that demonstrate how fostering a mutual understanding of the different approaches to landscape restoration and collaboration and integration of natural capital in decision making and practice can enhance benefits for all stakeholders from public and private sectors and society. The focus will be on showcasing a variety of natural capital approaches that benefit local stakeholders from the public and private sector and that offer potential for replication and new partnerships between key stakeholders The selected projects will be included in a final report, which will be publicly available and presented in different relevant workshops and meetings in Europe. All case studies proceeding from the open call that are not finally selected will be included in a specific annex to the final report. It will consist of a list of case studies and proposed uptake as a natural capital case studies, in case they fulfil the requirements. How to submit a case study? Provide a short description of the project and the natural capital approaches developed including objectives, impacts and lessons learnt. This information can be shared on the basis of existing project documentation or via links to online information.Please submit your case study by email to jesuscarrasco@ecoacsa.com by the 3rd of April 2020Successful case studies to be profiled by We Value Nature will be notified before end of April 2020.Link to the call published in We Value Nature website.  Share Facebook-f Twitter Linkedin-in ...

Interview with David Álvarez, Executive Director of Ecoacsa El Ágora - diario del agua In this interview in el Ágora - diario del agua, our Executive Director,  explains how natural capital approaches addresses water protection, biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation in a holistic manner, instead of separately. David also emphasises that natural capital thinking incorporates not only a vision of the impacts, but also a vision of the dependencies on nature, and in particularly it includes a value proposition. That is, why nature and natural capital is important to business and society.  This approach seeks to incorporate an integral valuation of impacts and dependencies, which is precisely one of the reasons why business are not taking natural capital into consideration. Large part of the business sector is not taking into account impacts that business operations have on natural capital, or what are their dependencies from it. In order for companies to be aware of the relevance that natural capital has for their business, the concept of "economic valuation" of the relationship between business and nature is incorporated. This allows to know how relevant is the relationship between business and nature in economic terms. During the interview, David also stresses that innovation has a key role given that natural capital does not stop being a transformative element, a new paradigm that requires research on what are the best valuation techniques, which tools can be used, or what new communication instruments are more adequate. He also points out that investment in natural capital has to be seen as an investment rather than a expenditure, and that thanks to climate policies business sector interest in biodiversity and natural capital is growing because organisations are realising that climate change and biodiversity cannot be dissociated. Comparte Facebook-f Twitter Linkedin-in ...

LIFE BooGI-BOP team visiting Plataforma Central Iberum family photo. Image: PCI How can nature-oriented company sites be implemented under Mediterranean conditions? This was one of the key questions that the experts from Germany, Austria, Slovakia and their Spanish hosts Ecoacsa and Polytechnic University  of Madrid (UPM) asked . While in Central Europe, flowering meadows or green roofs can be organised all year round, the low rainfall in large parts of Spain compels us to adopt other concepts. Concrete examples in Castille-La Mancha near Toledo in the south of Madrid show that this is possible. Plataforma Central Iberum is a logistics and industrial area with 350 hectares and it is the first industrial area in Spain to refer to the principles of sustainable development in Europe. The aim is to demonstrate an approach to the development of industrial areas that integrates important sustainability aspects, including all environmental impacts, and also takes into account climate change. The importance of water The central element is water, which, although generally insufficient, can fall in a few heavy rainfall events and then lead to flooding. Rainwater is therefore drained from all roof areas, about 100 ha, into large underground cisterns. Further water flows into a belt from an artificial wetland, which is fed from the cisterns over the summer and thus remains as a source of water for many animals even in the dry season. Wide avenues of up to 40 m are laid out between the company premises, traffic islands allow the integration of elements such as cycle paths, insect hotels, resting places or herb gardens and fruit trees. Other fruit trees, some planted with the families of employees of surrounding companies, help to preserve the biodiversity of the area. As a positive side effect, there are considerable savings in maintenance, as erosion and other consequences of heavy rainfall do not occur and larger areas do not need to be maintained at all. A further economic benefit is the settlement of international companies. Due to their sustainable orientation, these companies can fulfil sustainability reporting criteria from the outset. This is an important effect for marketing, which was not foreseen, but which now makes it much easier to sell the logistics areas and enables good prices. The residents are still a bit unfamiliar with the new design, which takes up the Mediterranean landscape much more and therefore dispenses with lush, year-round irrigated lawns. Finding a new design language here is also a task for the project partners from four European countries. LIFE BooGI-BOP partners Partners of the project are Lake Constance Foundation, Global Nature Fund e Institut für Lebensbezogene Architektur e. V. (ILbA, Germany), Amt der Vorarlberger Landesregierung —Abteilung Umweltund Klimaschutz (Ive)— (Austria), Ecoacsa Reserva de Biodiversidad and Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain), and Ekopolis Foundation (Slovakia). Rainwater basin generated in Plataforma Central Iberum. Image: PCI Comparte Facebook-f Twitter Linkedin-in ...