Announcements

Call for Papers: Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review Volume 9

2022.11.22

The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is pleased to announce a call for papers for the ninth volume of the “Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review” book series. The ninth volume will feature the theme “Business and biodiversity: reciprocal connections in the context of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS).  We invite authors from member organisations of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) who have case studies relevant to this theme, to submit a manuscript following the guidance provided below.

About the “Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review”:

The Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review is a compilation of case studies providing useful knowledge and lessons focused on a specific theme related to “socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS)”. The overall aim is to collect practical experiences and relevant knowledge built from on-the-ground management activities and contribute to policy recommendations. Each volume also includes a synthesis chapter clarifying the volume’s relevance to policy and academic discussions to encourage the application of lessons learned in the field. Like the last three volumes, Volume 9 will be published by Springer.

See the previous eight volumes below.

Theme

“Business and biodiversity: reciprocal connections in the context of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS)”

With this volume we will highlight the reciprocal connections between business and biodiversity in the context of SEPLS. SEPLS are multi-functional landscapes and seascapes where production activities such as agriculture, forestry, and fisheries not only support the livelihoods and wellbeing of local communities but also help conserve biodiversity and ensure the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. These production activities are often intricately linked with a wide variety of business and industrial activities on multiple scales, ranging from small- and mid-sized enterprises to globally connected multi-sectoral businesses.

This volume will look at empirical evidence on how businesses are dependent on and impact biodiversity and natural environments in SEPLS. Furthermore, it will address how SEPLS management practices support business activities that rely on natural resources and render positive biodiversity outcomes.

Background

Businesses impact and depend on biodiversity not only because of the immediate use of natural resources and its direct effects but also through supply chains, regulatory systems, financing mechanisms, and consumer reputations.[1] Despite the varied degree of interdependency, all businesses essentially rely on biodiversity – ranging from small- and mid-sized enterprises to globally operating companies across different sectors (e.g., primary industries, food processing, pharmaceutical and health care, tourism, financials, utilities).[2] Along with the declining trends of biodiversity, business risks associated with biodiversity loss have been increasingly recognized worldwide. The fifth edition of the Global Risks Report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2010 featured, for the first time, “biodiversity loss” as one of the major global risks with the potential of systemic failures.[3] The current trend is even more worrisome, as US$ 44 trillion of economic value generation (i.e., more than half of the global GDP) appears to be moderately or highly dependent on nature and is thus vulnerable to biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.[4]

While affirming “no sector escapes untouched by some form of biodiversity risk,” the WEF also highlights opportunities, for instance, with new technologies, innovative trading systems, improved models for land and sea uses, and novel market mechanisms.1 Positioning businesses as major drivers of ecosystem change, points to their potential role in radically reducing their negative impacts.[5]

Furthermore, proactive engagement by businesses in making socially and ecologically sound impacts may create new values, putting in place sustainable business models (e.g., circular economy, ethical sourcing, social enterprise, demand management).[6]  This can bring in profit by seizing new business opportunities, creating new markets, and developing additional revenue streams. It has been estimated that these opportunities can add up to US$ 10.1 trillion in annual business value and create 395 million jobs by 2030 through nature-positive solutions.[7] Given their critical role in determining societal impacts on biodiversity, businesses have  great potential to lead transformative change by facilitating systemic improvements that speak to multiple leverage points (e.g., total consumption and waste, values and action, externalities and telecouplings, and innovation and investment).5, [8]

With the growing recognition of their key role in systemic transformations, businesses have become increasingly committed to and involved in the processes concerned about biodiversity loss.[9] New tools and regulations are also emerging to help businesses  make informed decisions and navigate appropriate actions for biodiversity conservation.[10] For instance, officially established in June 2021, the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures Framework (TNFD) was endorsed by the G7 Finance Ministers and plans to publish a framework in 2023 to assist companies collate and report their nature related risks and opportunities.[11] In addition, various business-led platforms have been developed to help measure business impacts on biodiversity and develop strategies and plans for biodiversity conservation – including Finance for Biodiversity, Business for Nature, Act4Nature, and Science-based Targets for Nature to name a few.11

However, business engagement in countering biodiversity loss remains limited, making only marginal or sporadic improvements.2 Challenges exist largely in understanding, measuring, and communicating the interdependency between businesses and biodiversity. In particular, the complexity of the connections, where many ecosystem services are invisible,  makes it difficult for companies to grasp them comprehensively.[12] Even in sectors of primary industry, where the connections to biodiversity are rather obvious, links could be blurred when multiple product lines are developed alongside long supply chains.11 For instance, the fashion industry depends on land, plants, and freshwater to produce raw fiber materials, while causing environmental externalities (e.g., pollution) across its value chain: Such impacts and dependencies are not easily apprehended, challenging informed decision-making.10 In this context, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is currently preparing to undertake a methodological assessment of the impact and dependence of business on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people (the so-called “business and biodiversity assessment”). It will aim to categorize how businesses depend on, and impact, biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people and identify criteria and indicators for measuring that dependence and impact.[13]

As multi-functional landscapes and seascapes, SEPLS encompass production activities (e.g., agriculture, forestry, and fishers) that essentially support the livelihoods and wellbeing of local communities but also often consist of the upstream end of long and complex value chains (e.g., food and beverage, pharmaceutical and cosmetics, crafting and tourism, and fashion and clothing). Based on their management practices, local actors steward land and sea and maintain biodiversity, while integrating traditional ecological knowledge and modern science to promote innovations and value additions that contribute to building sustainable business models for balancing conservation and development needs. At the same time, they observe and experience profound impacts of businesses within the intimate environment, including both positive (e.g., employment, branding of the place) and negative (e.g., ecosystem degradation, deprived rights to territories) impacts. Their first-hand knowledge obtained through direct observation and experiences should inform decisions and actions by multiple actors – including not only businesses but also those who operate, regulate, and are affected by and concerned with business activities.

In this regard, many of the IPSI case studies provide rich evidence to detail and help clarify the interdependency between businesses and biodiversity, while exemplifying innovative solutions to facilitate more sustainable business decisions and actions for socially and ecologically sound outcomes. Furthermore, the experiences in managing SEPLS where multiple actors negotiate and collaborate for meeting diverse needs and interests provide practical insights on the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders as well as how to build partnerships to promote systemic changes towards sustainable futures.

The Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review Vol. 9

This volume will focus on the relevance of SEPLS to aspects of reciprocal connections between business and biodiversity. Cases to be included in the volume may highlight the roles, attitudes, motivations, and actions of multiple stakeholders, including smallholders, indigenous peoples and local communities, and others in conserving biodiversity while providing other benefits that directly or indirectly contribute to businesses primarily relying on biodiversity and natural resources (e.g., food and beverage, fiber and timber, pharmaceutical and cosmetics, crafting and tourism, and fashion and clothing). They are also expected to illustrate on-the-ground impacts of businesses in SEPLS – including positive (e.g., employment, branding of the place) and negative (e.g., ecosystem degradation, deprived rights to territories) impacts, providing insights on how to categorize and measure impacts and dependency of businesses on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people.

IPSI partners are invited to contribute case studies related to this theme, demonstrating experiences and insights on, among others:

  • What and how multiple benefits derived through SEPLS management have directly or indirectly contributed to any business activity primarily relying on biodiversity and natural resources (g., food and beverage, fiber and timber, pharmaceutical and cosmetics, crafting and tourism, and fashion and clothing)?
  • Are there any (positive and/or negative) impacts on SEPLS made by business activities (or certain market mechanisms)? If so, what are they, and who has been affected? How can you measure and assess these impacts?
  • What efforts have been made to address (positive and/or negative) impacts of businesses in managing SEPLS – including the development or adoption of sustainable development models (e.g., circular economy, ethical sourcing, etc.)? What factors have influenced decisions and actions in dealing with business impacts on SEPLS? How have different stakeholders negotiated and collaborated to manage the business impacts on SEPLS?
  • Has local and traditional knowledge and cultural diversity helped to inform or facilitate business decisions and actions for socially and ecological sound outcomes? If so, how?

How to submit a manuscript and what happens after submission:

Eligibility:

Authors are invited to submit a paper if at least one of the authors belongs to an IPSI member organisation. (See http://satoyama-initiative.org/en/partnership/ipsi_members/)

Procedure:

Authors are requested to submit an abstract (400 words) to the IPSI Secretariat by email (sitr@unu.edu) by 20 December 2022. Submission of a full manuscript should be made before 20 February 2023, after receiving confirmation from the editorial team. Authors are requested to follow the Authors’ Guide and the reference style and are encouraged to use the Template for Manuscripts. After screening, selected authors will be informed in March 2023 and then invited to a Case Study Workshop planned to be held virtually or in person in May or June 2023. This Case Study Workshop will offer an opportunity for getting feedback on manuscripts and discussion among participants for development of a synthesis paper to be included in the volume.

Timeline (dates are subject to change):

20 December 2022:        Deadline for submission of abstracts (400 words)

20 February 2023:           Deadline for submission of full manuscripts

March 2023:                     Notification of selected authors

May or June 2023:          Selected authors participate in Case Study Workshop (virtual or in-person)

August 2023:                    Submission of revised manuscripts

March 2024:                    Publication

Related documents:

For inquiries, please contact…

Dr. Maiko Nishi at the IPSI Secretariat (sitr@unu.edu).

[1] WEF (2010). Biodiversity and Business Risk. WEF, Geneva.

[2] Smith, T., Beagley, L., Bull, J., Milner‐Gulland, E. J., Smith, M., Vorhies, F., & Addison, P. F. (2020). Biodiversity means business: Reframing global biodiversity goals for the private sector. Conservation Letters13(1), e12690.

[3] Dempsey, J. (2013). Biodiversity loss as material risk: Tracking the changing meanings and materialities of biodiversity conservation. Geoforum45, 41-51.

[4] WEF (2020). Nature risk rising: Why the crisis engulfing nature matters for business and the economy. In collaboration with PwC. New Nature Economy series.

[5] IPBES (2019), Global assessment report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Brondízio, E. S., Settele, J., Díaz, S., Ngo, H. T. (eds). IPBES secretariat, Bonn, Germany. 1144 pages. ISBN: 978-3-947851-20-1

[6] Bocken, N. M., Short, S. W., Rana, P., & Evans, S. (2014). A literature and practice review to develop sustainable business model archetypes. Journal of cleaner production65, 42-56.

[7] WEF (2020). New Nature Economy Report II—The Future of Nature and Business. Cologny: WEF.

[8] zu Ermgassen, S. O., Howard, M., Bennun, L., Addison, P. F., Bull, J. W., Loveridge, R., … & Starkey, M. (2022). Are corporate biodiversity commitments consistent with delivering ‘nature-positive’outcomes? A review of ‘nature-positive’definitions, company progress and challenges. Journal of Cleaner Production, 134798.

[9] de Silva, G. C., Regan, E. C., Pollard, E. H. B., & Addison, P. F. E. (2019). The evolution of corporate no net loss and net positive impact biodiversity commitments: Understanding appetite and addressing challenges. Business Strategy and the Environment28(7), 1481-1495.

[10] Stephenson, P. J., & Walls, J. (2022). A new biodiversity paradigm for business. Amplify35, 6-14.

[11] White, T., Petrovan, S., Bennun, L., Butterworth, T., Christie, A. P., Downey, H., … & Sutherland, W. J. (2022). Principles for using evidence to improve biodiversity impact mitigation by business.

[12] Dasgupta, P. (2021). The economics of biodiversity: the Dasgupta review. Hm Treasury.

[13] https://ipbes.net/business-impact