‘Biodiversity loss to affect business growth’

National 1 minute, 31 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

RISKS associated with biodiversity loss will affect business growth, warned the assistant vice chancellor of global affairs at Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

Dr Joyce Teo said businesses must consider environment risks because they are operating in an ecosystem that can impact biodiversity loss.

“This includes risks as a result of direct impact or dependencies on biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as supply chain risks that arise due to businesses’ relationships with biodiversity and ecosystems,” she said in a recent interview.

She said to date, discussions on global biodiversity loss focused on ecosystem degradation, coral reef degradation or deforestation.

Such issues will affect businesses if they do not protect the environment, she added.

Dr Teo said it was estimated that “increasing human pressure” on the environment is likely to result in costs equivalent to seven per cent of the world gross domestic product by 2050.

She said conserving biodiversity and the environment can result in substantial benefits for businesses.

Giving an example, said the benefits can be tangible if farmers manage their farms in a way that can result in reduced usage of pesticides and subsequently, a cut in costs.

“Businesses are increasingly recognising these potential benefits, effectively moving from an attitude of ‘compliance’ with biodiversity policy to one of ‘contribution’ to the net biodiversity resource and the resulting human and economic benefits,” she said.

The assistant vice-chancellor said every individual and every business has a role to play, starting from the simple three Rs of protecting the environment - reduce, reuse and recycle.

Currently, the International Consortium of Universities for the Study of Biodiversity and the Environment (iCUBE) is not only looking at the biological science aspect of environment, but also studies the social science and policy aspects of biodiversity and environment.

Eight global universities, including UBD, are members of iCUBE.

The Brunei Times