Biodiversity and ecological services are vital to the entire humanity. Beyond Procurement Services (food, fossil energy, genetic resources) which have already integrated the economy, we all benefit, often without realizing it, of many other services provided by ecosystems: maintenance (ecosystem functioning and nutrient cyles), regulation services (climate regulation) or cultural services (recreational and spiritual activities), according to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
New initiatives are required to reverse current trends in biodiversity loss, en particular, strategies that address the global problem through action at local and regional scales.
A particularly influential approach acknowledges the roles businesses and the economy plays in biodiversity change. Firms alter biodiversity through their demands on ecosystem process and ecological services. Indeed, firms generate profit from (a) the use of renewable resources (fisheries) and non-renewable resources (fossil fuels) derived from ecosystems, (b) the destruction of biodiversity and ecological services (BES) through urbanization (infrastructures, buildings), (c) homogenous biological production systems (monocultures, aquaculture) or (d) the management of damages, impacts or pollution caused by other agents (e.g. waste water treatment).
The means to enable private sector engagement on BES issues is in development and poorly accessible, and this has been raised as a major barrier to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity at COP 10. This is why Decision X/21 on Business engagement highlighted the need to encourage the establishment of a forum of dialogue among parties so as i) to integrate biodiversity in corporate strategies, ii) to increase the awareness of existing BES tools, iii) to develop new ones, iv) to monitor their effects and v) to learn from business experiences.
To address this issue the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science (QCBS) and its partners have launched a joint initiative: The Quebec Biodiversity and Business Assessment Project (QBBAP)