Biodiversity

State of the Apes: The Impacts of Infrastructure on Biodiversity

In this briefing we take an in depth look at apes as they are a particularly important indicator species for the broader health of sensitive forest ecosystems, informed by the Arcus Foundation’s State of the Apes publication

Why this is important and what we’re doing about it

Investors have an important role to play in biodiversity protection, vital for thriving ecosystems and economies.

Alongside climate change, biodiversity loss poses an existential threat to the ecosystems which underpin our economic and social wellbeing. Biodiversity has been in free-fall over recent decades; putting us in the midst of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction event. This critical issue will come into sharper focus for investors ahead of the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (Beijing: October 2020) where parties are expected to adopt an ambitious global biodiversity framework.

In this briefing we take an in depth look at apes as they are a particularly important indicator species for the broader health of sensitive forest ecosystems, informed by the Arcus Foundation’s State of the Apes publication. We focus on the impact of infrastructure on apes as the world looks to fill the gap in global infrastructure investment. These projects represent an opportunity for responsible investors and banks to contribute to the UN’s SDGs through conservation and economic development in emerging economies.

Poorly managed infrastructure projects have material, reputational and financial risks. In order to mitigate these risks we recommend:

  • Adopting a cross-sectoral biodiversity policy which includes good practice principles;
  • Prioritising conservation during the early stages of project planning; and
  • Engaging with operators of infrastructure assets.

 

Resources

State of the Apes: The Impact of Infrastructure on Biodiversity

This briefing is a guide for investors in infrastructure projects in areas of high biodiversity value. We offer good practice that minimises harm to vulnerable environments, protects investors’ interests, and maximises infrastructure’s economic and social impact.

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Jo Alexander

Jo Alexander

Scientific Advisor