Biodiversity Initiative (FTBI)
Forest Trends' Biodiversity Initiative (FTBI) seeks to redefine business-as-usual practices so that economic activities result in a Net Positive Impact on biodiversity. It comprises two main programmes:
- The Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP), launched by Forest Trends in 2004, is a global, multi-stakeholder partnership of some 80 companies, government agencies, financial institutions, conservation NGOs and experts. Forest Trends leads the Secretariat and provides the institutional home for the Programme. BBOP promotes the rigorous application of the impact mitigation hierarchy and planning for no net loss and preferably a net gain of biodiversity, particularly through its Standard for best practice biodiversity offsets, released in 2012, and has its own website.
- FTBI works directly with companies, governments, banks and conservation organizations to help them improve the outcomes for biodiversity from their operations. We offer advisory services to governments on policy development and landscape-level planning for "No Net Loss" and preferably a "Net Positive Impact" on biodiversity, using the BBOP standard and other best practices. We also offer strategic and technical advice to companies with a biodiversity footprint to help them at the project level and with company-wide identification and management of risk and opportunity related to biodiversity.
We have expertise and experience in:
Advising governments – Forest Trends offers policy and technical advice to governments on the application of the mitigation hierarchy (including biodiversity offsets) and environmental assessments, by:
- Supporting the development and implementation of government strategies for No Net Loss or Net Gain (NNL/NG) of biodiversity. These strategies typically cover regulations and policy, technical guidelines, and preparation of public and private sector organizations for their role in the system, whether on the supply or demand side, or as brokers.
- Conducting policy gap analyses tailored to specific countries, provinces and regions, and providing advice on the advantages and disadvantages of different options in order to embed NNL/NG in the policy framework.
- Assisting governments (including Ministries of the Environment, Mining, Energy, Finance, Agriculture, Planning and Justice) in the development and use of a roadmap to achieve Net Gain. The roadmap will show how, over time, to put into place the guidelines, systems, planning, coordination and capacity needed to deliver mitigation and Net Gain in daily land-use planning and decision-making.
- Producing guidelines on core issues in offset design and implementation. Such guidelines include: following the mitigation hierarchy, defining limits to what can be offset, exchange rules and metrics to quantify biodiversity losses and gains, site selection, implementation options, monitoring & evaluation, enforcement and adaptive management.
- Preparing data sets and spatially explicit plans and maps to support NNL/NG planning.
- Capacity building and training of staff responsible for designing and administering biodiversity mitigation systems, land-use planning and permitting.
- Helping governments build the financial resources and technical capacity to implement these systems.
Supporting the private sector – Forest Trends advices companies in the mining, energy, infrastructure, tourism and forestry sectors on NNL/NG planning, by:
- Assisting companies as they plan for NNL/NG at three stages 1) early assessment of the feasibility of achieving NNL/NG; 2) design and implementation of NNL/NG during and after the preparation of EIAs; and 3) assessment of existing mitigation measures, including offsets, for conformance with standards.
- Providing a roadmap, checklist and common definitions and guidance for companies considering or planning no net loss/net gain biodiversity commitments.
- Developing and administering a 'Stepwise' approach for companies to build towards compliance with the mitigation hierarchy and BBOP offset standard.
- Creating tools for company staff and consultants, such as terms of reference for impact assessments and model biodiversity impact mitigation and offset management plans.
- Training company staff and especially the consultants they employ to assess impacts and design and deliver mitigation measures (including biodiversity offsets).
Assisting financial institutions – Forest Trends works with commercial and development banks and export credit agencies, in:
- Revising and establishing biodiversity policies and safeguards
- Reviewing and giving advice on clients' projects
- Facilitating dialogue with stakeholders to support national and project-based mitigation
Helping the conservation community – Forest Trends undertakes projects for conservation organizations, such as:
- Writing publications, communication tools and position papers on the mitigation hierarchy, No Net Loss, Net Gain, biodiversity offsets, etc.
- Chairing and facilitating working groups
- Preparing and delivering training materials for organizations to use with their members
We welcome the opportunity to work with governments, companies, financial institutions and conservation organizations seeking to adapt successful models for no net loss resource use and green growth. Contact us at pmaguire (at) forest-trends.org
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