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With finite natural resources, preserving biodiversity is a global issue requiring collective action, particularly as we are already in the red. How we are address this needs to be considered at all stages – across strategic decisions, roadmaps, programs and operations. In response, we need an evolved and balanced approach to sustainable solutions, centred firmly around nature and our environment. This was also recognized in the Glasgow COP26 statement: ‘Our future needs to be both climate net zero and nature-positive’. This is the decade for nature restoration.
There is no ‘people’ or ‘profit’, without a ‘planet’
Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth, in all its forms and interactions. The air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat all rely on biodiversity. But right now, it is in crisis.
While many municipalities and governing bodies increasingly have biodiversity on their agenda, when it comes to putting ‘nature positive’ ambitions into practice, the lack of international guidance poses a challenge.
But there are ways to address this. For instance, Arcadis is participating in the WBCSD ‘Nature Positive Dialogues’ and Nature Positive Workstream, helping to develop standards for ‘nature positive’ solutions. Through our involvement with the European Commission’s ALIGN project, we’re also developing recommendations for a corporate standard on biodiversity measurement and valuation. Highlighting the issue in the 2022 program of the EU Business at Biodiversity Platform puts it on the radar of many private and public sector organizations. Being active in forums for change is an important first step towards being part of the solution.
Greening our urban spaces
Today, more than half of our world’s population lives in urban spaces, and this is projected to increase to around two-thirds by 20504. Communities depend on the natural world for fresh water, clean air, and more.
There’s increasing evidence that built assets that don’t factor nature compound the challenges we face today, like increasing temperatures in cities, pollution and greater flood risks. Unfortunately, with rapid urbanization, we often see loss of biodiversity as a consequence of development. But it doesn’t have to be.