Welcome to the Business Engagement Programme

CBD COP 13 Business and Biodiversity Forum

Mainstreaming Biodiversity: Opportunities for Business

Final Report from 2016 Business and Biodiversity Forum

Final Report


2-3 December 2016


Hotel Moon Palace, Cancun, Mexico


The CBD Secretariat and the Government of Mexico hosted the 2016 CBD Business and Biodiversity Forum. The Forum took place in Cancun, Mexico from 2-3 December 2016, immediately prior to the start of the thirteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the CBD.

The economic well-being of productive sectors and of the people depending on them for their livelihoods is intricately connected to biodiversity. According to the 2016 Global Risks Report of the World Economic Forum, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse are among the 10 major risks faced by the private sector, in terms of their potential impact.

In light of such a possible systemic collapse, it is in the best interest of businesses and governments to take into account the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services in productive systems. Beyond corporate social responsibility, mainstreaming biodiversity into productive sectors implies integrating conservation and sustainable use of natural capital in business planning and operation. This innovative approach was the theme of the 2016 Business and Biodiversity Forum.

Business leaders were invited to sign the Business and Biodiversity Pledge to convey their commitment in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, and in taking actions to achieve the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. This was the first time that such a business pledge was issued at a CBD Conference of the Parties.

UNCTAD hosted the IV BioTrade Congress in parallel to the 2016 Business and Biodiversity Forum on 3 December 2016.

Agenda and Presentations

2nd December 2016 (Friday)

Opening Remarks - 09:00-09:30

  • Mr. Rafael Pacchiano,Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico and COP13 President
  • Mr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity

Plenary 1 - 10:00-11:45
Biodiversity for Businesses

Both the keynote address and panel discussion focused on the importance of biodiversity in economic development and well-being of societies.
  • Dr. Ildefonso Guajardo, Minister of Economy, Mexico
  • Mr. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission
  • Mr. Peter Seligmann, CEO, CI
  • Ms. Inger Andersen, Director General, IUCN
  • Ms. Angela Pinhati, Industrial Director, Natura
  • Mr. Juan Romero, CEO Mexico, CEMEX
  • Mr. Roberto Oliva, Executive Director, ACB

Parallel Sessions A & B - 13:30-15:30
Session A: Natural Capital Accounting

Natural capital can be a key player in business plans. This session presented different methodologies in accounting and valuation of biodiversity, including the Natural Capital Protocol, in order to discuss corporate strategies required to maximize the information presented.

Session B: Climate, Biodiversity and Business

This panel explored the links between climate change and biodiversity loss, and the role that biological diversity has both in climate change adaptation and mitigation, also reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals. The discussion focused on the opportunities these challenges bring for the private sector.
  • Dr. Elsa Galarza Contreras, Minister of Environment, Peru
  • Ms. Anaïs Blasco, Manager for Ecosystems and Landscape, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  • Mr. Vicente Saiso, Corporate Director for Sustainability, CEMEX
  • Mr. Suhas Buddhe, Chief Managing Director, Biocare India Pvt Ltd
  • Mr. Matt Walpole, Director for Partnerships and Development, UNEP-WCMC
  • Dr. Francisco Barnes, Executive Director, Centro Mario Molina

Parallel Sessions C & D - 16:00-18:00
Session C: Financing Solutions

This session addressed financial mechanisms that consider biodiversity conservation and sustainable use guidelines applicable to the private sector, as well as investment in conservation projects.
  • Ms. Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  • Mr. Richard Mattison, CEO, Trucost
  • Mr. Anders Nordheim, Programme Coordinator for Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Water, UNEP-FI
  • Mr. Marcos Mancini, Executive Director for Sustainability and Responsible Investment, BANORTE
  • Mr. Ferdinand Mwapopi, Project Coordinator, Resource Mobilisation for Biodiversity Protection (ResMob), Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Namibia
  • Mr. Lorenzo Rosenzweig, General Director, Fund for the Conservation of Nature, Mexico

Session D: Access and Benefit Sharing

The Nagoya Protocol is an international agreement that aims to share the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way. It entered into force on 12 October 2014, and is focused on creating greater transparency and legal certainty for providers and users of genetic resources. The panel discussed business opportunities and obligations under these new rules.

Cancun Business and Biodiversity Pledge signing ceremony - 18:15-18:45
Gala Reception - 20:00

3rd December 2016 (Saturday)

Plenary #2 - 09:00-10:00

Keynote addresses presented opportunities for businesses that take into account conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The subsequent parallel sessions focused on sustainable production and consumption patterns and supply chains; the different options and ways to invest in biodiversity conservation, including innovative approaches to form partnerships; and the mainstreaming of biodiversity in production processes and service delivery.

Parallel Sessions E & F - 10:15-12:15
Session E: Supply Chains and Sustainable Production and Consumption

The impact of human activities on ecosystems is largely generated by unsustainable production and consumption patterns. This session addressed the role of the supply chain in biodiversity conservation, as well as of the role of big corporations in fostering change through their supply chain.

Session F: Partnerships and Other Innovative Approaches for Biodiversity Conservation

This session presented different cooperation models for doing business and invest in natural wealth, ensuring that conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are transformed into an inclusive growth engine.
Parallel Sessions G & H - 14:15-16:15
Session G: Agriculture

The negative impact of current agricultural practices on ecosystems and biodiversity has increased dramatically, while the biological and genetic diversity of these ecosystems still need to be taken into account to ensure sustained and sustainable food systems. During this session, business opportunities and challenges of sustainable agriculture were discussed.

Session H: Tourism

The discussions in this session focused on examples, experiences and challenges for the implementation of best practices in providing tourist services, emphasizing how sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, can mainstream biodiversity into business models to foster local development, regional and national levels.
  • Ms. Teresa Solís, Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Policy, Ministry of Tourism, Mexico
  • Ms. Julia Carabias, Chair, Natura y Ecosistemas Mexicanos A.C.
  • Mr. Jose Koechlin, President, Inkaterra
  • Mr. Santiago Dunn S., Executive President, Ecoventura
  • Mr. Jake Kheel, Vice President, Grupo Puntacana Foundation
  • Mr. Donald Brown, Director, Technical & Regulatory Affairs, Environmental and Health. Cruise Lines International Association
  • Mr. Geoff Bolan, CEO of Sustainable Travel International

Parallel Sessions I & J - 16:45-18:45
Session I: Forestry

Over the past decades, there has been a change in perception regarding the importance of forest biodiversity for the industry. This session brings experts and businesspersons to explore best practices that are being developed and implemented by the forestry sector to achieve sustainable forest management.

Session J: Fisheries

Marine reserves are under pressure due to overfishing, habitat loss and pollution. The increase in temperature and ocean acidification still generate more pressure on marine ecosystems. In this session, the challenges to overcome in order to halt the decline in fish production at the global level, as well as options for the sustainable use of marine resources, were discussed.

Closing Ceremony - 19:00

  • Mr. Rafael Pacchiano, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico and COP 13 President
  • Mr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity