You may well have heard the term ‘Nature Positive’ over the last couple of years, but what does it refer to and what are the implications for businesses and development? In this post we seek to delve a little further into the premise that underpins the Nature Positive ‘movement’ and how it relates to issues such as the economy and wellbeing.
What does Nature Positive mean?
Now more than ever before a resilient natural world, which is in balance and sustainable, is critical to the health of our planet and the species that occupy it. A healthy planet in terms of its climate and biodiversity is fundamental to the longevity of our natural world, human health, wellbeing, economic and social resilience; the interdependence of nature and society is irrefutable, and it is all of our responsibility to act in a way that is harmonious with our natural resources, and is sustainable and beneficial to supporting and growing a healthy biosphere.
Essentially, being Nature Positive means operating in a way that supports the reversal of biodiversity depletion, leading to nature recovery, which in turn leads to natural, economic and social resilience.
What is Nature Positive 2030?
The United Nations General Assembly in 2020, saw 93 countries sign up to the Leader’s Pledge for Nature, and commit to protect 30% of land and seas for nature by 2030 so that biodiversity is measurably recovering. In September 2021, the UK’s five statutory nature conservation bodies identified how the UK can achieve these commitments and ensure that nature recovery plays its role in achieving net zero, through the publication of Nature Positive 2030.
What does being Nature Positive mean for business?
Quite simply, being Nature Positive is critical for long term business success. All businesses rely on the natural world which underpins business operations, services and supply chains, and is often not accounted for on a business’ balance sheet, resulting in direct and indirect impacts on biodiversity. Because of this reliance on the natural world, it is critical that ecosystems are healthy and sustainable. It is, therefore, fundamental to the longevity of a business to assess its impacts and make changes to embed Nature Positive practices/mitigation/compensation/offsetting into the foundations of organisations for risk management purposes and due diligence.
Sustainable finance systems and standards, such as that provided by the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), will inevitably become an integral part of business economics.
The TNFD is concerned with implementing a “risk management and disclosure framework for organisations to report and act on nature-related risks”. Towards which, a beta framework was released in March 2022 and is currently being piloted. The aim of such a framework is to support a shift in “global financial flows away from nature-negative outcomes and toward nature-positive outcomes”.
Nature Positive implications for development
As Nature Positive requirements and incentives cascade through the business sector, it is inevitable that those involved with development will need to assess nature-related risks to organisations as a whole and individual projects, seeking to achieve Nature Positive outcomes in all areas from the ground up.