Start a Business – Save The Planet!

May 15, 2017

Photo Courtesy: Catorifoto.livejournal.com/Daniil Korzhonov, Vlad Ushakov

At first sight “biodiversity” and “interaction with private business” seem to be not quite a clear combination. However, it was found out that the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity is impossible without participation of business!  

The first step to address conservation issues in business is to understand what “biodiversity” is, why it is important for human society and what is the relationship between the private sector and biodiversity resources.

As it is known, private enterprises impose the main burden on biodiversity resources and ecosystem services, utilizing them as the core component of production processes. Their activities depend on the condition of the ecosystems that provide quality of soil, water, air, and their ability to provide services that derived in the form of food, wood, fiber, medicinal herbs and other environmental goods.

To promote tourism, business also depends on healthy, attractive landscape and ecosystems. Along with the negative practice of existing pressure on the environment, business can also become part of the solution through the implementation of innovative, effective, and at the same time profitable approaches to biodiversity conservation.

In April, this year, in Bishkek, representatives of business, government bodies, NGOs and academic circles gathered for the first time to discuss the role of the private sector and the importance of private investment in biodiversity conservation.

The participants received information about the positive experience of companies investing in biodiversity, as well as global practices of financial solutions that encourage private business to conserve and sustainably use natural resources. The company “Karlsberg-Kazakhstan” shared its experience in supporting the biodiversity-related activities within the project “Conservation of snow leopard as a national symbol of Kazakhstan”.

“The principle of careful attitude to nature should be at the very core of the business. Its representatives being awake of their dependence on natural resources, call for joint actions,” - said Zhamilya Imankulova, Director of a local company that produces goods of environmentally friendly materials. “What can we do as a small business that depends on the resources of nature to preserve it? We are an integral part of the whole ecosystem,” she added.

Participants also discussed business opportunities for biodiversity and ecosystem conservation, identification of current and potential sources of financing, and the creation of a framework for cooperation in determining the most effective financial solutions for preserving the environment and biodiversity.

The event was organized by the UNDP Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), the Association “International Business Council” and the Agency for Corporate Development “CSR Central Asia”.

Lira Zholdubaeva, Project Coordinator of the UNDP Kyrgyz Republic Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN)

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