Protecting biodiversity in Central America and the Dominican Republic through business partnerships

Project description

Title: Business Cooperation and Biodiversity in Central America and Dominican Republic (DaBio II)
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Dominican Republic, Central America
Lead executing agency: SICA - Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana
Overall term: 2019 to 2024

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Context

Although Central America makes up only one per cent of the Earth’s surface, it is home to approximately eight per cent of the world’s biological diversity. This species diversity, also known as biodiversity, is under severe threat – for example from overexploitation, climate change and the clearing of tropical rain forests for agricultural use.

The Central American states have responded to the threats to biodiversity by developing measures and establishing important institutional structures at the national and regional level. It is imperative for the private sector to be actively involved if international conventions are to be implemented successfully. Important business entities in Central America and the Dominican Republic are still doing too little to protect terrestrial and marine biodiversity, as they have rarely entered into partnerships with the government, the science sector or civil society. Yet partnerships are the key to the sustainable use, protection and restoration of biodiversity. 

Objective

Private companies in Central America and the Dominican Republic take into account the value of biodiversity in their business decisions, thereby promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. To do so, they work together with the government, the science sector and civil society.

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Approach

To involve private sector companies more systematically in protecting biodiversity, the programme supports the activities of the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD) and those of the Central American Integration System (SICA).The aim is to consolidate and extend the pilot processes, procedures and experience acquired in implementing the sections of the Regional Environmental Framework Strategy 2015 to 2020 that cover biodiversity and corporate action, and to implement the priority goals of the respective countries under Agenda 2030.

In this, the focus lies on training advisors and entrepreneurs, strengthening cooperation between the CCAD and the business sector, and consolidating and integrating goals already achieved by supporting new alliances with the private sector and multi-stakeholder partnerships. 

The regional network of entrepreneurs for corporate social responsibility, INTEGRARSE, will be the central partner in implementation. This is made up of seven national organisations which have formed a partnership to promote corporate social responsibility and sustainability in Central America and the Caribbean.

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Results

The follow-on project builds on the results and experience of implementing the previous project, Business and Biodiversity in Central America and the Dominican Republic (DaBio I).

This project proved that the private sector can profit from the protection and responsible use of biodiversity. For example, 29 development partnerships have already been established in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. The participating companies alone invested some three million euros in resource-friendly use and protection of biodiversity. Added to this are significant contributions from civil society, scientific institutions and public donors.

The Biodiversity Check is a flexible tool developed by the project to enable private companies to improve biodiversity management and some are already using it to prepare for certification. The module has identified innovative financing mechanisms for projects that promote the sustainable use of biodiversity. These mechanisms are already being used by various private sector networks.

DaBio II is the continuation of an innovative project approach that focuses on cooperation with the private sector for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity, fair and equitable access to genetic resources (Access and Benefit Sharing, ABS), and ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change.

The follow-on module focuses on extending the project to include other areas (such as agriculture and tourism) and additional countries (such as Guatemala and El Salvador). It also aims to consolidate successful tools (such as the Biodiversity Check) by linking them to national awards, certifications or sustainable public sector procurements.