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Biodiversity: a key component of ESG to support inclusive, resilient and sustainable development in Africa.

Join our Masterclass on 22 June 2023, 8.30 to 12.30 to unpack further the importance of biodiversity for ESG in Africa and better understand how to manage it to deliver transformative impact and real value on the continent

Today 22 May 2023, as we celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity, it is critical for us to understand that biodiversity is key for Africa sustainable development. More than 62 percent of Africa's rural population rely on the continent's diverse natural ecosystems for their food, water, energy, health, and secure livelihood needs. The decline of biodiversity in Africa is expected to continue and to affect Africa's development progress and continent's ability to grow sustainably. The African Development Bank states that protecting Africa's biodiversity is a core development challenge for the continent.

The loss of biodiversity in Africa alters the structures and functions of ecological systems, compromising efforts to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Biodiversity is essential in many of our key economic sectors, and especially for agriculture which is essential for food security for the continent. The bank also emphasises that the loss of biodiversity must become a serious matter of concern for every African government and stakeholder, because protecting biodiversity is about sustaining Africa's present development gains and safeguarding the development needs of future generations.

Protecting biodiversity requires all of us to rethink the way we consider biodiversity and make it an entire part of development and business agenda and strategy. Biodiversity has therefore a fundamental positioning in any Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) approach in Africa. Social, environmental including biodiversity and economic development are so interlinked and co-dependent on the continent, that it is essential to take an integrated approach in our ESG strategy and priorities.

Globally, biodiversity is quickly rising up the ESG investing agenda. The next big theme in responsible investing is biodiversity. Loss of biodiversity is now considered as serious as climate change, and investors are increasingly realising that they have an important role to play in conserving it. In the African context, climate change and biodiversity are so extrinsically connected, that it is difficult to speak about one without talking about the other, again demonstrating the need to take an integrated approach.

Our Masterclass on biodiversity and ESG on 22 June 2023 has been designed to help you understand the importance of biodiversity in an ESG context in Africa. It will also enable you to better understand the global and continental landscape around ESG and biodiversity and expose you to the latest developments in this sector.

The various relevant ESG frameworks (especially the one being developed by the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD)) and relevant indicators in this context will be introduced and explained, the question of materiality for ESG and biodiversity will also be explored and unpacked. You will be provided with guidance on how to integrate biodiversity in your ESG strategy and priorities and how to go about setting targets. You will also hear from companies and their approaches to ESG and biodiversity, and their lessons learnt.

You will be provided with examples of good practices and the way to take an integrated and system approach to your ESG journey, to ensure that your efforts deliver multi-level values for your shareholders and stakeholders in terms of your environment, social, governance and financial impacts, ensuring the long term sustainability of your company.

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