Step 3.2B: Review the role of biodiversity within sustainable development planning

In this step, countries review major national policy and strategy documents to identify how they understand biodiversity as a fundamental part of sustainable development. This should include multisectoral national planning documents, as well as sector plans from key economic sectors. A review of these documents should highlight how biodiversity and ecosystem services have been integrated into national development planning, green economy strategies, and sector-based plans such as tourism, water and sanitation, forestry, and fisheries

Box 3.2: Deep Dive: Examining Sectoral Strategies Further to Identify Dependencies on Nature


All economic sectors are dependent to some extent on services provided by biodiversity and ecosystems. Sector-based dependencies on biodiversity can be explored further as part of the PIR. Evidence of the importance of a biodiversity-dependent sector could include the contribution to GDP, job creation, or foreignexchange earnings. Here are some sample criteria to capture the key findings of this analysis.

Sample Criteria for a Sector Dependency Analysis

Criteria Description
Sector Name of sector
GDP Contribution of the sector to the country’s GDP
Jobs Sector employment numbers and estimated potential for job creation
Foreign exchange earnings Foreign exchange earnings that the sector attracts in the country
Dependencies How does the sector depend on biodiversity and ecosystem services?
Impacts How does the sector impact biodiversity and ecosystem services or the well-being and health of people or a particular group?

Box 3.3: Using the Natural Capital Protocol to Identify Natural Capital Impacts and Dependencies



Measurement and valuation of a business or sector’s dependencies and impacts can follow a standardized process such as the Natural Capital Protocol. This is a standardized framework for business to identify, measure and value its direct and indirect impacts and dependencies on natural capital. Natural capital is defined as the stock of renewable and non-renewable natural resources (e.g. plants, animals, air, water, soils, minerals) that combine to yield a flow of benefits to people. This is illustrated in the figure below, which also explicitly recognizes biodiversity as an essential part of natural capital.

The Protocol does not just consider positive and negative impacts on biodiversity; it also includes dependencies, covering things as raw material sourcing, water use for production and other often ignored ecosystem services (e.g. pollination, flood mitigation).

The Protocol guides measurement and valuation of natural capital impacts and dependencies. Valuation is defined as an estimate of the relative importance, worth, or usefulness of natural capital to people/business, in a particular context, and can be qualitative, quantitative or monetary. While the Protocol is developed to guide analysis from the perspective of an (private or other) enterprise, it can also be applied to a national or regional economic sector.14