96 civil society organizations call upon banks to help stop and reverse the biodiversity crisis
On the first anniversary of the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), 96 civil society organizations call upon all banks to produce and publish a transition plan that is aligned with the goals and targets of the GBF and the Paris Agreement, by October 2024.
The GBF was adopted in December 2022 at the conclusion of the 15th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Amidst a dangerous decline in nature threatening the survival of one million species and impacting the lives of billions of people, the GBF aims to halt and reverse nature loss. The framework establishes global targets for 2030 and beyond to safeguard and sustainably use biodiversity and to respond to the Global Assessment Report of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services which highlighted the role of financial actors in causing and addressing biodiversity loss.
Building upon the five key principles for banks to halt and reverse biodiversity loss effectively and equitably, all banks must have a transition plan in line with the GBF and Paris Agreement that:
- Prioritizes the end of financial services to actors whose supply chains or operations within any part of their business are profoundly linked to conversion of natural ecosystems, heavy climate impact, or violation of Indigenous peoples’ rights.
- Ensures the implementation of robust environmental and human rights due diligence that eliminates harmful financing, including, at a minimum in No Go Areas, and exclusion areas. Policies and procedures should adhere to the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The rights of Indigenous peoples, women, and local communities should be respected and prioritized, while banks should also ensure that policies and procedures protect and prioritize the human rights of impacted communities. Any bank policy scope should apply to the “corporate group” as defined by the Accountability Framework Initiative.
- Ensures that climate goals and strategies are complementary to and do not conflict with biodiversity targets.
Central to the signatories’ call is the critical role of Indigenous peoples in protecting the world’s remaining biodiversity hotspots and banks’ responsibility to respect and uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples as prescribed by the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This includes free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). Recognizing the key role that banks can play in halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity and ecosystems, the signatories call for banks’ action and welcome a conversation with banks to discuss the recommendations.
See also the Banks and Biodiversity website