Sri Lanka’s Business and Biodiversity (B&B) Platform has emerged as the first from South Asia to gain membership of the Global Partnership on Business and Biodiversity (GPBB) established under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands and the European Union are the other initiatives that have joined the partnership. Australia, India, Namibia, Portugal, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain and the United Kingdom have initiatives currently under development.
In October 2010, Parties to the Convention adopted a decision to explore ways to enhance private sector collaboration in achieving its goals. The decision called upon the CBD Secretariat to encourage the establishment of national and regional business and biodiversity initiatives.
The Global Partnership acts as a conduit, clearing house and intelligence source for private sector entities to identify and address issues and challenges concerning business and biodiversity conservation including sustainable use.
“Through its membership, the Sri Lanka B&B Platform has earned the possibility of leveraging Sri Lankan business sector participation in the decision making processes of the CBD’s Conference of Parties and in harmonising with other business and biodiversity initiatives around the world. It will also enable the harmonisation of methodologies to enable businesses to link actions and results with the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Target,” the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said in a statement.
Currently, twenty leading corporate entities with high standards of environmental custodianship back the Sri Lankan initiative as its Patron Members. Membership of the Platform is open to Sri Lanka-based businesses ranging from SMEs to national and multinational companies, business associations as well as expert institutions.
The CBD is the international legal instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, developed through an initiative of the UN Environment Programme.