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The global loss of biodiversity has become one of the major environmental challenges of the 21st century. To address this, the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 contains 6 mutually supportive and inter-dependent targets contributing to the headline objective to halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services by 2020, and to restore them as far as feasible. Given the important role of businesses in biodiversity conservation, the European Commission has taken the initiative to encourage greater engagement of the private sector by setting up the EU Business and Biodiversity (B@B) Platform. The Platform provides a mechanism for direct interaction between the Commission and Business, including SMEs and larger organisations, concerning the delivery of objectives under the Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.

Phase 1 of the B@B Platform

The EU Business and Biodiversity (B@B) Platform was launched in 2008 in order to facilitate and promote actions by the business community in favour of biodiversity. The Platform lasted for three years and covered six sectors: Agriculture, Forestry, Finance, Food Supply, Non-energy Extractive Industry and Tourism. In the first phase of the Platform’s work, the participants worked together to provide input to documents, workshops, questionnaires and consultations on several aspects on Business and Biodiversity. For further information on Phase 1, and details of its members, see the archived website.

Phase 1 of the Platform has been effective in terms of Communication activities and increasing awareness of the ways that Business can support Biodiversity. The platform also invested significantly in the benchmarking of best practice where the main challenge was the development of methodologies that accommodate the needs of all sectors. Some useful good practice examples concerning, in particular, the monitoring of biodiversity have also been developed. Importantly, the first phase of the Platform also encouraged the creation of National Business and Biodiversity Platforms in several Member States.