Biodiversity Conservation: Cap Business Océan India and Expertise France join forces to unite the private sector – Environment

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700,000 euros to create awareness and educate companies

Friday, May 27, 2022

Engages companies in the region to work for the conservation of biodiversity, both on land and at sea. This is the purpose of the partnership concluded between Cap Business Océan India, an association bringing together regional private sector actors, and Expertise France, a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) group. A € 700,000 funding agreement was signed between the two entities on Friday, May 13, on the sidelines of World Biodiversity Day, observed each year on May 22, as part of the Varuna program. The goal is to unite a group of development partners around a crucial issue: securing the biodiversity hotspot in the southwestern Indian Ocean.

These funds will fund the Business for Biodiversity project, which offers awareness-raising and capacity-building initiatives for businesses in the area by 2025. The aim is to help them measure their impact on ecosystems and encourage the introduction of nature-based practices and solutions.

“The observation is unanimous: Private companies in the region are not very aware of biodiversity problems and have even fewer tools to measure their ecological footprint. With the Business for Biodiversity project, we want to remedy this through awareness, training and technical support. We integrate issues related to biodiversity into their management and engage in reflection on their production methods, “explains Virginie Lauret, CEO of Cap Business Océan India.” We are proud to count on the support of Expertise France, which provides us the opportunity to participate in the implementation of part of the Varuna program “, she adds.

For Valentin Grange, project manager of the Biodiversity Department at Expertise France, “the exceptional endemic biodiversity of the southwestern Indian Ocean constitutes a strong identity for the region. However, this identity is threatened by erosion of biodiversity, endangering all ecosystem services such as freshwater supply, soil These ecosystem services are still little taken into account in private sector growth plans, which is why we believe it is necessary to encourage coordinated efforts and support the region’s economic actors in addressing the challenges of ecological change. and its ability to structure networks of regional actors, Cap Business Océan India is the ideal partner to carry out this mission ”.

The implementation of this project will be led in the six territories of the region by a project manager, who will soon be recruited. In addition to developing an action plan, he will be responsible for leading a public-private dialogue platform on themes related to biodiversity, natural capital and nature-based solutions. Academics from the region will be closely associated with these exchanges to consolidate the relationship between academia and economics.

Several awareness-raising tools will be developed throughout the program to popularize knowledge, especially on indicators of the ecological impact of companies. Certified Public Accountants and CSR executives from companies in the region will be trained in social and environmental accounting tools.

For Cap Business Océan India, this partnership with Expertise France is part of the strategy presented in the 2021-2026 roadmap, published in November 2021. In which the association has made the conservation of biodiversity a cross-cutting priority, while the circular economy, inclusion and low-carbon strategies and business resilience. The aim is to produce a new economic model that is fairer, more sustainable and robust at regional level. The Business for Biodiversity project has been made possible thanks to funding from France through AFD and its subsidiary Expertise France.

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