The Biological Diversity Protocol (BD Protocol) is an output of the Biodiversity Disclosure Project (BDP), a project started in early 2018, managed by the National Biodiversity and Business Network (NBBN) of South Africa and hosted by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT). Through close collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, the BD Protocol has been developed to provide companies with an accounting and reporting framework which helps consolidate biodiversity impact data in a standardised, comparable, credible and unbiased manner.
The BD Protocol further aims to enable any organisation to identify, measure, account for and manage its impacts on biodiversity for various business applications, from site management and internal reporting to external mandatory and/or voluntary disclosures. For instance, it can be instrumental to companies working on voluntary, science-based biodiversity commitments or targets for the forthcoming meeting of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15 CBD) in China.
During the launch of the Protocol, Joël Houdet, coauthor and Consultant to the Biodiversity Disclosure Project of the Endangered Wildlife Trust and Senior Research Fellow at the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership (University of Pretoria), highlighted that the BD Protocol is aligned with the Natural Capital Protocol, can be used by companies of any sector or industry and it is applicable to any step of the value chain, including suppliers and clients.
In addition, it is designed to generate two types of biodiversity information: biodiversity footprint (impacts on ecosystems); and species level data. The Protocol supports any impact measurement approaches to consolidate net impact data in a rigorous way (adaptations of double-entry bookeeping).
The Protocol includes guidance on how to:
Select the appropriate organizational and value chain boundary.
Develop and manage a biodiversity impact inventory.
Determine material biodiversity impacts.
Assess impacts on biodiversity, considering the nature of biodiversity features impacted.
Account for net changes in biodiversity, in accordance with mitigation hierarchy and the associated equivalency principle.
Apply the Biodiversity Accounting Framework to build Statements on Biodiversity Position and Performance and account for biodiversity gains and losses over time.
Validate or verify a biodiversity impact assessment.
Report n and disclose business impacts on biodiversity in a coherent and meaningful manner.