Biodiversity, or diversity within natural systems is a backbone for life, communities, livelihoods and businesses. Yet biodiversity has suffered from decades of intensive agricultural practices to answer the needs of a fast-growing population, worldwide. Transforming our global agricultural model is now a challenge, but also an opportunity to reverse the trend, for the benefit of farmers, societies, businesses and consumers.
In this context, Livelihoods Venture and 18 major companies are launching the One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B) coalition. Its goal? Bring concrete solutions to transform the food and agriculture systems through their value chains in order to preserve biodiversity. Here are 5 key facts you need to know on OP2B:
1. 19 companies engaged in the transformation their supply chain
Transforming our current agricultural models is a huge challenge, in which the private sector has a key role to play. Biodiversity is not only necessary for human life; it is also at the core of agricultural preoccupations and therefore business models. All company members of OP2B coalition, including Livelihoods Venture aim for concrete action in biodiversity preservation through the transformation of their value chains. The private sector has indeed a central role to play in showing the transformational path to sustainable food and agriculture systems. To achieve results, the coalition will focus on 3 key pillars: regenerative agriculture, diversified food production and ecosystems restoration.
2. Regenerative agriculture for soil health, human health and increased incomes for farmers
To achieve concrete results for biodiversity preservation, OP2B coalition will focus on agricultural practices and models that have the potential to preserve nature and improve the quality of life of farmers. The first pillar for action of OP2B is: scaling up regenerative agriculture to protect soil health. The coalition will support farming practices that leverage the power of plants to keep carbon in soil. In other words, it will support carbon sequestration practices to increase the capacity of soil to hold water, enhance the resilience of their crops and at the same time support the livelihoods of its farmers. Regenerative agriculture will help increase the nutrient density of food products while decreasing the reliance on agrochemical input to combat pests and diseases.
3. Diversified food production to boost biodiversity
Increasing the variety of ingredients is the second pillar for action. Using a diversified portfolio of food will help increase the resilience of the food and agriculture systems. Food diversification will particularly help regain food diversity, local specificity and genetic diversity in agriculture which is a powerful lever to protect and nurture biodiversity. Food diversification will also help address the needs and demand of a new generation of consumers.
4. Restoration and protection of high value ecosystems
OP2B company members will focus on defining specific action within their key value chains that restore and protect the world’s most biodiversity-rich and fragile ecosystems, including forests, wetlands and grasslands. Beyond key levers of action such as reforestation, the coalition will develop integrated landscape approaches and commits to develop and define verifiable standards and best practices to avoid negative (both direct and indirect) on wildlife and their habitats in farming practices.
5. Committed for concrete results and impact at scale
What is interesting about OP2B coalition is the common ambition to deliver results in biodiversity preservation and soil health. In the coming year, all company members have committed to define the specific work streams and priority actions they will implement to deliver results. Each company will focus on the specific action plan in their own sectors, activities, within their providers, to build a more resilient supply chain. The coalition will build multi-business pilots as well as collaborative action to deliver results, before launching action at scale.
Company members of OP2B coalition:
Photo credits: Lionel Charrier