Building Biodiversity Business

Building Biodiversity Business

Author(s): Joshua Bishop, Sachin Kapila, Frank Hicks, Paul Mitchell, and Francis Vorhies

Publication Date: 2008


Key points in document

  • This report reviews market-based approaches to biodiversity conservation with a focus on biodiversity businesses. Like conservation enterprises, biodiversity businesses pair financial returns with biodiversity benefits.
  • The biodiversity businesses explored in the document are at a larger scale than most conservation enterprises, attracting major investors and reaching international markets.
  • The report explains the need for market-based approaches to conservation, followed by an assessment of biodiversity business models currently in place.
  • Supportive policy frameworks are identified as the most important factor leading to a successful biodiversity business.
  • Factors deemed critical to business success include: multi-stakeholder participation, realistic standards linked to technical assistance, and flexible financial models coupled with business development support.
  • Stakeholders such as investors (local, national, or international), and community members (entrepreneurs or customers), must be involved in the project from its inception to ensure the success of the enterprise.
  • The financial technical capacity of entrepreneurs must be considered before beginning biodiversity enterprises. Business plans should be adjusted to meet the capacity of the targeted community.
  • Building a business plan that includes access to financing for the enterprise and integrates continuous development of business development skills will increase the chances of a successful enterprise.

Information relevant to Learning Questions:

Are enabling conditions in place to support a sustainable enterprise?

  • Access to credit/capital
  • Governance
  • Government requirements, policies for enterprises, business alliances
  • Financial management capacity, technical capacity
  • Combined strategic approaches, policies for and enforcement of resource use

Does the enterprise lead to benefits to stakeholders?

  • Increased income for participants
  • Non-cash benefits

Do the benefits lead to positive changes in attitudes and behavior?

  • Not addressed

Does a change in stakeholders’ behaviors lead to a reduction to threats to biodiversity (or restoration)?

  • Residential and commercial development
  • Agriculture and aquaculture
  • Biological resource use
  • Human intrusions and disturbance
  • Invasive and other problematic species and genes
  • Climate change and severe weather

Does a reduction in threats (or restoration) lead to conservation?

  • Forest ecosystems
  • Freshwater ecosystems
  • Marine ecosystems
  • Species
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