What value is nature to Indonesian business?

The value of nature and the services it provides will be the subject of intense and vigorous debate on Thursday evening (April 19) at the state of the art multi-media centre, @ America, in Jakarta’s prestigious Pacific Place complex.

Jointly organised by WWF’s Indonesia’s Green Business Network and the Association of Low Carbon Industries (ALBI) and live streamed across world via the web - the evening discussion will begin with the launch of a new book on the subject, titled: The Economics of Ecosystem and Biodiversity (TEEB) in business and enterprise.

The Book author, Dr Joshua Bishop, former Chief Economist with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and now National Manager – Markets, Sustainability and Business Partnerships with WWF Australia, will be in Jakarta to launch the book and lead the discussion on its implications for Indonesia, with particular reference to the vast ‘natural capital asset’, more commonly known as the Heart of Borneo (HoB).

The book reviews indicators and drivers of biodiversity loss and ecosystem decline, and looks behind the statistics to highlight how leading companies, large and small, are taking action to both conserve biodiversity and restore ecosystem services.

It examines the changing preferences of consumers for nature-friendly products and services, and offers examples of how companies are responding and getting ahead of the competition in the process.  The book also describes recent global initiatives within the TEEB framework with direct application within the HoB and Indonesia.

“TEEB shows how more and more companies are measuring, reporting and reducing their impacts on biodiversity, while building new business models based on the restoration and conservation of natural capital,” Dr Bishop says.

“The biodiversity-rich Heart of Borneo is a prime location for applying the TEEB approach. A HoB partnership, involving governments, business and civil society, could help accelerate the transition to a greener economy in Borneo,” he added.

Dr Joshua’s address will review a range of practical tools to manage biodiversity risks in business, with examples of how companies are using these tools to reduce costs, protect their brands and deliver real business value.

During the course of the evening new business models that deliver biodiversity benefits and ecosystem services on a commercial basis will be explored and the policy frameworks needed to stimulate investment and entrepreneurship to realize such opportunities discussed in the context of Indonesia and in particular, the Heart of Borneo.

WWF’s HoB Financial Sustainability and Policy Strategy Leader, Anna van Paddenburg will moderate the evening and believes the role of business is crucial in securing a sustainable future for the HoB and beyond.

“Business plays a crucial role in society, providing goods, services and jobs. Without business there is no economy. But we need to stop and think for a second, does our economy today also serve people? Is it ready for a changing climate? Healthy ecosystems and a full complement of biodiversity can provide important buffers against the worst impacts of climate change.”

“The cost of action now, is much less than the cost of inaction. The only way forward is therefore to advocate for more responsible and sustainable business across all sectors, for the benefit of all,” she says.

During the course of the evening, Ms Paddenburg will moderate discussion on the role of business in the HoB. Topics also to be covered include the potential of business to support the three HoB governments (Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia) to gain international recognition and backing for a TEEB focused, green economy approach at the influential UN Rio+20 Summit in Brazil in June, this year.

A key theme of the UN will be the role of the green economy to alleviate poverty and drive sustainability throughout the global economy.

For further information, or to interview Dr Bishop or Ms Paddenburg, please contact:

Chris Greenwood, International Communications Manager, Heart of Borneo Initaitive, WWF

Tel: +60 128281214

E-mail: cgreenwood@wwf.org.my

Notes to editors

What is the Heart of Borneo (HoB)?

The Heart of Borneo covers more than 22 million hectares (220,000 km2) of equatorial rain forest across the countries of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia. One of Asia’s last great rainforests, it includes some of the most biologically diverse habitats on earth, and is one of only two places on earth where elephants, orangutans, rhinoceros and clouded leopards share the same territory. In the past 15 years, more than 500 new flora or fauna species have been discovered, at a rate of more than three per month.

Borneo’s cultural diversity is as distinct and varied as the island’s animal and plant life. In Kalimantan (Indonesia) alone, 142 different languages are believed still to be in use today. Many people depend directly on the forest for edible and medicinal plants; fish; meat; construction materials and water. As the headwaters of the island’s major rivers lie in Borneo’s central highlands, protection is critical to ensuring reliable clean water supplies to a large number of human settlements, and the thriving industries that have developed in coastal urban centers.

The Heart of Borneo Declaration

In February 2007, the governments of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia signed the Heart of Borneo Declaration to protect an area of more than 220,000 square kilometres in the centre of the island and bordering all three countries. Together they emphasised the  fact that these tropical rainforests have strategic, global, national and local functions, not only for citizens of these three countries but for the global human race.

The declaration is supported under important regional and international agreements such as Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD).

For more information visit: www.panda.org/heart_of_borneo

What is Rio 20+

Rio+20 or ‘Earth Summit’ is the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in from June 20-2, 2012, to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg.

The objectives of the Conference are to: secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges.

Rio +20 will focus on two themes:

  1. how to build a green economy to achieve  sustainable development and lift people out of  poverty, including support for developing countries that will allow them to find a green path for development;
  2. how to improve international  coordination for sustainable development.

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