Meeting lender standards
International Financial Institutions (IFIs) have specific requirements when it comes to biodiversity. For IFC Performance Standard 6 and other environmental safeguards, the benefits of early engagement with biodiversity risk management cannot be overstated and failure to adequately account for biodiversity risk leads to poor mitigation and routinely results in project delays, increased costs, and stakeholder disputes.
We worked with both IFC and EBRD to develop their environmental safeguards (IFC PS6 2012, EBRD PR6) and our team includes some of the leading experts in the interpretation and application of IFI performance standards and policies. From initial assessment through to survey work and development of documentation to support achieving financial close, we have a long history of working with developers and development projects seeking international financial backing.
Essential screening for biodiversity and ecosystem services, designed to uncover risks. A combination of global datasets, local information and expert knowledge produces a profile of the globally or nationally significant biodiversity potentially occurring in an area. More importantly, it shows how these features might present regulatory, reputational or financial risks and provides a road map for alignment with best practice.
Baseline strategy support
Good quality baseline surveys are a fundamental step in any project, and provide the right information to assess and manage risk successfully. Where appropriate we use innovative techniques such as Environmental DNA sampling and combine this with our in-house expertise for accurate, cost effective survey design.
Critical Habitat Assessment
Identification of the presence of biodiversity features which qualify an area as Critical Habitat is a central component of aligning with IFC PS6. Our desktop analysis, baseline survey interpretation and consultation with our extensive network will show if Critical Habitat features are present, and whether they meet the thresholds defined in IFC PS6.
Applying the mitigation hierarchy
Our consultants wrote the leading guidance on the application of the mitigation hierarchy and continue to support clients at corporate and project levels to ensure that mitigation measures are developed, implemented and communicated appropriately. We work with trusted partners to support the preparation of environmental and social impact assessments which meet best practice and performance standards. A science-informed approach ensures that ESIAs include sufficient assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services impacts, and that mitigation measures manage those impacts and risks appropriately.
Offset design and governance
Applied in the right way in the right circumstance, averted loss or restoration offsets offer a valuable way of demonstrating commitment to a positive biodiversity outcome. We have been central to the growth and development of this field over the past ten years and contributed to the development of BBOP Principles, provided critical input to the development of IUCN’s position on offsets, and have authored several leading papers and guidance documents on the topic. We have helped clients worldwide to develop offset programmes including Mongolia, Australia, Madagascar, West Africa and the Guyana Shield. We regularly provide continued support and technical oversight of project implementation to ensure offset programmes meet their stated objectives.
Monitoring and evaluation
We work with clients to develop risk-based monitoring programmes that track whether impacts are being managed as intended and demonstrate progress towards positive biodiversity outcomes.