Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in India

Project description

Title: Incentives for sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystem services
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: India
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India
Overall term: 2012 to 2020

India. Women carrying wood ©  GIZ

Context

With just 2.4% of the global land area, India is home to nearly seven per cent of the world’s recorded species. It also supports 16% of the global human population as well as large numbers of livestock. India's growing population, rapid economic growth and industrialisation have increased the pressure on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems, and the services they provide, are vital national priorities as they are linked to the country’s economic, ecological and social well-being.

Objective

Economic valuations of ecosystem services and biodiversity are used to improve the conservation and management of three priority ecosystems: forests, inland wetlands, and coastal and marine ecosystems.

India. Fishermen ©  GIZ

Approach

GIZ is working with its partners in support of two important initiatives to encourage sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) India initiative

The project is assisting the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in implementing this initiative. Its purpose is to assess the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services so that they can be taken into consideration and mainstreamed as factors in development planning and decision making.

The initiative focuses on three ecosystem types: forests, inland wetlands, and coastal and marine ecosystems. Besides gathering existing knowledge about the value of ecosystems, TEEB India Initiative carries out field-based primary assessments of biodiversity and ecosystems, with relevance for policy makers. This approach is oriented toward the stakeholders and should help identify desirable changes at all levels of decision making, including the local level.

A number of pilot case studies are being used to demonstrate the application of economic approaches in terms of improving policies and decision making. The outcomes of the initiative should develop the overall efficiency and targeting of conservation programmes implemented by the ministry.

India Business and Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI)

Businesses are major stakeholders in conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity. Once fully established, the India Business and Biodiversity Initiative will serve as a national platform for businesses and other stakeholders to pursue dialogue, share ideas and learn from each other. In doing so, it will promote the mainstreaming of sustainable biodiversity management into businesses. A key aspect of the project’s support involves capacity development, both for the member companies and for the Confederation of Indian Industry, which is hosting the initiative. This should help them incorporate biodiversity management into their operations.

Results

In October 2012, the ministry, together with the project, released the ‘TEEB India: Initial Assessment and Scoping Report’ at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad. The report presents current knowledge of the value of ecosystem services and biodiversity in the three ecosystems in India (forests, inland wetlands, coastal and marine ecosystems), and it recommends methods and approaches for the future. Twelve policy-relevant case studies of biodiversity and ecosystem values have since been commissioned.

A dialogue forum has been established involving Brazil, India and Germany, through which the three countries can share experiences and lessons learnt from their respective national TEEB initiatives. Two dialogue events have been held, in September 2013 and May 2014, in Germany and Brazil respectively. A proposed third TEEB dialogue is to be organised by India in 2015.

Since its launch, some 21 companies have so far joined the IBBI initiative. The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has endorsed IBBI in its function as the national initiative for business and biodiversity. The Initiative has joined the Global Partnership for Business and Biodiversity established by the Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat.

India. Women in a boat collecting wood in Kerala ©  GIZ

The document ‘Business and Biodiversity in India: 20 Illustrations’ was released during the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October 2014 in South Korea. This report showcases efforts made by 20 companies from diverse sectors (mining, construction, manufacturing, IT, finance, energy, chemicals and agri-business) to manage biodiversity as part of their operations and through their corporate social responsibility activities. Also released at the Convention was the TEEB India Initiative Interim Report. It describes the assessment approaches and methodologies used for the three ecosystem types and the 12 case studies. It also outlines the ways in which TEEB India Initiative supports the national biodiversity targets.