Improving environmental outcomes by sharing biodiversity data as a global public good

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5 September 2021
18:30 - 20:30 CEST
Chamaeleo gracilis subsp. gracilis, observed in Côte d'Ivoire. Photo 2019 Dominik Schrembs via iNaturalist Research-grade Observations, licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

A private event co-hosted by GBIF and Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

Connecting biodiversity and finance

This private roundtable event will examine how development actors—donors, development banks and companies from private-sector—that wish to report biodiversity impacts or to integrate nature-related risks in their decision-making can advance global-scale, nature-positive outcomes for science and society by sharing biodiversity data generated by their investments.

Gilles Kleitz
Director, Ecological Transitions and Natural Resources Department, AFD

Jane Smart
Global Director, Biodiversity Conservation Group, and Director, Global Species Programme, IUCN

Context of the session

With wider sharing of the primary biodiversity data collected from the studies and projects they finance, development actors can improve impact reporting and better integrate nature-related risks in their decision-making.

As biodiversity declines at an unprecedented rate and the pressures driving this decline intensify, the risks of inaction are immense. While the financial sector’s engagement with the biodiversity agenda remains relatively underdeveloped, this is now changing rapidly. Financial institutions are increasingly focused on biodiversity data as they develop metrics for ESG impact and reporting. Biodiversity data likewise plays a fundamental role in international efforts to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Development banks and their clients generate vast amounts of raw biodiversity data when financing studies and projects in line with their environmental and social safeguards policies. Specialist consultancies engaged to conduct environmental and social impact studies and subsequent ecological monitoring typically collect this field data, and while access may be restricted or even confidential in some cases, much of the biodiversity data could easily be disseminated for reuse in further research and policy. However, unlike the impact studies it supports, this data is rarely exploited because it remains unpublished.

This high-level closed meeting will foster an open discussion about concerns, benefits and solutions for sharing of biodiversity data in support of nature-positive outcomes.

Overall objectives

Participants will include representatives from the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), the Equator Principles, donors, public development and commercial banks, CBD COP-15 delegates and experts in open science and biodiversity data. The aim of the event is to spark dialogue between these parties around how development actors can contribute in concrete and effective ways to nature-positive outcomes.

By leveraging existing tools, networks and infrastructures that enable sharing and reuse of biodiversity data, development actors can help fulfil international commitments on knowledge sharing, support capacity building and contribute toward the Sustainable Development Goals. Sharing data—particularly from marine and freshwater environments and the global South—can also close recognized gaps in our knowledge of biodiversity.

By examining success, barriers, and future needs of current initiatives, the meeting will look to build consensus between corporate and financial leaders, policymakers, and scientific researchers on actions to take forward.

This discussion will embrace the challenge to design a coallition in response to IUCN motion 077 and its “Urgent call to share and use primary biodiversity in-situ data through emerging biodiversity data platforms at local, national and global scales.” It may also offer a proactive signal to increase ambitions for targets on knowledge sharing in the future post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Should attendees find common ground, it may be possible to create a coalition of development actors prepared to take action and make a joint declaration or commitment toward biodiversity data sharing at the next CBD COP-15 in Kunming.

Marseille Chanot, H8-9 Meeting Room
Country or area
5 September 2021 18:30 - 20:30