Voluntary Sustainability Standards and Biodiversity
Understanding the potential of agricultural standards for biodiversity protection - This policy brief provides a summary of the findings of joint research conducted by International Institute for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the Convention for Biological Diversity Secretariat analyzing the potential contribution of voluntary sustainability standards to support biodiversity protection.
The State of Sustainability Initiatives Focus Report: Standards and Biodiversity
to be released in 2017 will provide the full results.
- Agriculture is responsible for 70 per cent of projected losses interrestrial biodiversity due to widespread land conversion, pollution and soil degradation.
- Voluntary sustainability standards offer an opportunity to reduce the impact of agriculture and to promote best practices, which can also improve yields and help to feed a growing population.
- Agricultural production compliant with these standards has grown at an average of 35 per cent per annum between 2008 and 2014.
- Standards already cover a significant portion of some commodity markets. Half of global coffee production, 30 per cent of cocoa production, 22 per cent of palm oil production and 18 per cent of global tea production is standard compliant; however, standard compliant production only accounts for a small portion of total global agricultural land area with minimal presence in major staple crops.
- While most existing sustainability standards address many key biodiversity issues, an absence of performance requirements and impact data makes it challenging for policy-makers to determine where standards are most effective in preventing biodiversity loss.
- The distribution of compliant production is primarily determined by where compliance costs are lowest rather than where need is greatest.
- Policy-makers need to become engaged in setting ground rules to ensure the credibility of standards.
- Policy-makers should demand access to impact and other data gathered as part of the certification process.
- Policy-makers need to facilitate the strategic implementation of standards in areas where biodiversity concerns are greatest through joint planning and financial support.
Click here to read the SSI Policy Brief.
Tags: Biodiversity Management | Biodiversity policy | Agriculture and food | Case Studies
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