Business Responsibility for Biodiversity Conservation in South Africa: Emerging Priorities

Conservation and sustainable use of biological resources is a major enduring challenge to governments, conservation organizations, the private sector and citizens of South Africa and other countries. The future conservation needs and objectives of all concerned parties should be viewed as converging on this common ground. This position paper does not purport to provide all the pertinent answers, neither is it intended to do so since we are confronted by a very complex landscape in which solutions tend to be location and case -specific. The paper indicates that the Earth’s resources are limited and that concern has been growing about the way in which they have been managed by the business sector. In principle, this realization has acted as the rallying point for building the business case for more responsible leadership on biodiversity conservation in South Africa and elsewhere. Indeed, most of the prevailing projections of the earth’s biodiversity profile and natural resource-use patterns paint a very disturbing picture of increasing ecosystem degradation and significantly reduced biodiversity.