Biodiversity refers to everything that lives on Earth, from micro-organisms to ecosystems. It’s crucial in the survival of all species, including humans. When biodiversity is lost, its ecosystem becomes more fragile and less resilient, threatening the way all the life forms interact within it.
Today, human activities are causing its rapid depletion. Last December, Ville de Montréal hosted the 15th United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15). It ended with the adoption of the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework, which includes the conservation of 30% of land and oceans and the restoration of at least 30% of degraded ecosystems by 2030.
This landmark agreement is expected to have impacts on environmental standards and requirements for industrial activities in the coming years.
“Starting a project will inevitably alter the surrounding environment,” explains Frédéric Gauthier, Project Manager, Environment and Sustainability at BBA. However, involving environmental experts upstream can help avoid vulnerable areas, minimize the impact on fauna and flora and ultimately compensate for any actions taken that might harm biodiversity.”
- Performing studies to assess the situation and constraints.
- Making recommendations and proposing mitigation measures.
- Ensuring they are properly implemented throughout the work.
- Auditing the impact of the project on its environment over several years.
While investors are beginning to ask for concrete actions to protect biodiversity, industrial players will benefit by taking the lead, since this ensures:
- Lower risks of project postponement, which can sometimes be costly
- Improved environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, so higher share values.
- Greater social acceptance
“Beyond the financial and legislative context, more and more companies are aware of the risks that come from losing natural environments. In fact, it’s possible to improve wildlife habitats within the framework of a project, or even create wetlands,” adds Daniel Lambert, Biologist at BBA.
And the great thing about gains in biodiversity is that they endure over time and grow every year, which should motivate us to act and safeguard a future rich with biodiversity.