SustainOnline.org: IUCN & Shell collaboration for biodiversity: “Geneva, 6 December 2004 - For over 4 years, Shell and IUCN - The World Conservation Union have been collaborating on a number of biodiversity programs and skillsharing initiatives. This case study highlights progress so far.” (ShellNews.net) Posted 7 Dec 04
Geneva, 6 December 2004 - For over 4 years, Shell and IUCN - The World Conservation Union have been collaborating on a number of biodiversity programs and skillsharing initiatives. This case study highlights progress so far.
Created in 1948, IUCN – The World Conservation Union brings together 79 States, 114 government agencies, 700 plus NGOs, and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide partnership to ensure that the use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies (Shell) is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies, operating in more than 145 countries and employing approximately 120,000 people.
Shell is committed to integrating biodiversity considerations into its operations and implementing the Group Biodiversity Standard, and recognizes that this is best achieved in partnership with conservation organizations.
Conservation organizations like IUCN, are interested in enlisting the support of business, not only to minimize and mitigate damage, but also to better understand and integrate private sector participation in conservation.
The dialogue between IUCN and Shell began in 2000. Key collaborative initiatives since then, include:
*An IUCN biodiversity expert seconded to Shell for two years.
Outcome: Increased mutual awareness, helped develop policy, developed company biodiversity tools, and cemented relationship.
*IUCN and Shell worked with others on the Energy and Biodiversity Initiative (www.theebi.org). Outcome: Shell using EBI products, increased co-operation between NGOs and companies, IPIECA & OGP industry trade associations using the EBI work.
*Shell and IUCN working on protected area projects.
Outcome: Shell announces commitments on World Heritage Sites and protected areas, and contributes to the “Speaking a common language” initiative.
*IUCN providing technical guidance and convening experts.
Outcome: Improved biodiversity guidance for Nigeria, Sakhalin - II Project (Russia) and Val D’Agri (Italy) operations.
*Shell sharing business skills through short secondments to IUCN’s Asia Regional Office.
Outcomes (ongoing): IUCN staff in Asia receiving best practice input on external communications, financial planning, human resources management and professional development.
*Shell senior employee seconded to IUCN headquarters as a Business Advisor.
Outcome (ongoing): IUCN developing its business strategy and processes.
Patience and perseverance have been required to build trust between these two very different global organizations. With growing trust, many positive benefits for biodiversity have resulted from the collaboration.
Shell has benefited from IUCN expertise and convening power, the provision of technical guidance for specific operations, development of management tools, and as a barometer to gauge latest conservation thinking, particularly around protected areas.
IUCN has gained a better understanding of business and how it operates, benefited from sharing of business skills at its Asia regional office and in bringing its biodiversity conservation mission to the private sector.
Shell Group Biodiversity Adviser
IUCN Business & Biodiversity Programme Officer