IUCN - WBCSD Relationship

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have announced a new five-year partnership that will help businesses address global challenges, such as climate change and ecosystem degradation, by valuing nature.

At the WBCSD Council Meeting taking place from 7-10 December 2015 in Paris, the two organisations signed an agreement that aims to deliver joint solutions for conservation and business by scaling up resilience to climate risks through the delivery of nature-based solutions, promoting a net-positive gain for biodiversity, and creating more systematic measurements, valuation and reporting. 

The agreement aims to achieve the following objectives:

• Integration of eco-systems considerations in core business strategy and systematic consideration of natural infrastructure as an alternative or a complement to grey infrastructure.

• Where possible, business application of the mitigation hierarchy towards a net positive impact on biodiversity.

• Systematic use of the Natural Capital Protocol - currently being developed - to inform business decision-making.

Both IUCN and WBCSD, under the auspices of the Natural Capital Coalition, are already leading consortiums to develop the Natural Capital Protocol, a comprehensive guide to measuring and valuing natural capital in business decision-making. The protocol is currently being tested by 50 companies around the world and will be released in July 2016.

This new agreement significantly contributes to the implementation of the WBCSD-led Action2020 agenda and IUCN’s Global Programme, supporting the SDGs, as well as the achievement of Aichi Targets defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity. This agreement comes ten years after the two organisations signed their first Memorandum of Understanding together.

Two years ago, WBCSD became the first global non-profit business member of IUCN.

Previously, IUCN and WBCSD had two previous agreements to work on bringing the conservation and business communities together.

The IUCN-WBCSD collaboration has resulted in a series of outcomes including a stronger presence and voice of business at multilateral environmental negotiations, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, joint work on ecosystem valuation, and a joint stream of work on water at the World Water Forum, including the joint publication on Water for business.

IUCN and WBCSD were also co-leaders of The Forest Dialogue (TFD) in 2009 and 2010 and shaped the dialogue’s agenda in topics like Forestry & Inclusive Business and REDD Finance & Readiness.

IUCN has also supported the development of WBCSD's Business and Ecosystem Training programme.

Joint publications include: Business and Ecosystems – Markets for Ecosystem Services (2007); Business and Ecosystems – Issue brief (2007); Agricultural ecosystems - Facts and Trends (2008); Buy, Sell and Trade!, a game on ecosystem services (2008); Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (2011), and; Biodiversity for Business – A guide to using knowledge products delivered through IUCN (2014).


The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is a unique, CEO-led, global association of some 200 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. The Council provides a platform for companies to explore sustainable development, share knowledge, experiences and best practices, and to advocate business positions on these issues in a variety of forums, working with governments and non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations. Given WBCSD’s unique make up, IUCN’s collaboration with WBCSD is an important vehicle for implementing the IUCN Business Engagement Strategy.

2012 World Conservation Congress, Jeju, Republic of Korea

WBCSD had an active presence at the 2008 World Conservation Congress in Barcelona through the presence of many members and the WBCSD Pavilion. This year business presence at Congress will be further strengthened. WBCSD and a Consortium of members are a major sponsor of the Congress as well as co-organizers of the Business and Economy Pavilion (BEP).

For more information on IUCN and WBCSD collaboration at the 2012 World Conversation Congress in Jeju, Republic of Korea, click here.

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