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700,000 euros to raise awareness and train businesses
Friday, May 27, 2022
Encourage businesses in the region to work in favor of biodiversity conservation, both terrestrial and marine. This is the goal of the partnership concluded between Cap Business Océan Indien, an association that brings together players from the region’s private sector, and Expertise France, a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) group. A funding agreement of 700,000 euros was signed between the two entities on Friday May 13, on the sideline of World Biodiversity Day celebrated annually on May 22, as part of the Varuna program. The goal is to unite a group of development partners around an important issue: conservation in the biodiversity hotspot of the southwest Indian Ocean.
These funds will fund the Business for Biodiversity project, which provides awareness-raising and capacity-building actions for businesses in the area until 2025. The goal is to help them measure their impact on ecosystems, and encourage adoption of nature -based skills and solutions.
“The observation is quite unanimous: private companies in the region are less aware of biodiversity issues, and have fewer tools to measure their ecological footprint. In the Business for Biodiversity project, we want to fix this by “raising awareness, training and technical support. In doing so, we want them to incorporate biodiversity-related issues into their management and engage in reflection on their production methods,” explained Virginie Lauret, executive director of Cap Business Océan Indien. “We are proud to rely on the support of Expertise France, which gives us the opportunity to participate in the implementation of a part of the Varuna program”, he added.
For Valentin Grange, project manager within Expertise France’s Biodiversity division, “the exceptional endemic biodiversity of the southwestern Indian Ocean forms a strong identity for the region. However, this identity is threatened by biodiversity erosion, which poses a risk to all ecosystem services, such as freshwater supply, soil regulation and pollination. These ecosystem services are still not much considered in private sector growth plans. This is why we believe it is necessary to encourage coordinated efforts and support the economic players of the region in considering the challenges of ecological transition. Thanks to its action and its ability to build networks of regional players, Cap Business Océan Indien is the perfect partner to carry out this mission ”.
The implementation of this project will be spearheaded, in the region’s six territories, by a project manager who will soon be recruited. In addition to developing an action plan, he will be responsible for leading the public-private dialogue platform around themes related to biodiversity, natural capital and nature-based solutions. Academics from the region will be closely linked to these exchanges to integrate the connection between the academic and economic worlds.
Many awareness -raising tools will be developed throughout the program to make knowledge popular, especially on indicators of the ecological impact of companies. Chartered accountants and CSR managers from businesses in the region will be trained in social and environmental accounting tools.
For Cap Business Océan Indien, this partnership with Expertise France is part of the strategy presented in the 2021-2026 Roadmap, published in November 2021. Where the association has made biodiversity conservation a cross-cutting priority, the same as the circular economy, inclusion, and low-carbon and business stability strategies. The goal is to bring out a new economic model that is more equitable, sustainable and resilient on a regional scale. The Business for Biodiversity project became possible thanks to funding from France through AFD and its subsidiary Expertise France.