Master Class: 28th October 2014

Corporates Presenting

Leaders for Nature India, organized 2nd Master Class on 22nd and 23rd September 2014, in Mumbai.

The two day event was attended by member companies of the Leaders for Nature network- which today include ACC Ltd, Cairn India, Wipro Ltd., Hindustan Unilever Ltd, and Rio Tinto, along with other companies like Tata Power, Tata Sons, Tata Steel, Ambuja Cement, Godrej & Boyce, Mahindra & Mahindra, Aditya Birla Group, RBS Foundation and Dutch Embassy.

During the Master Class module on second step of the Natural Capital Roadmap, ‘Assessing Business Risks and Opportunities by Using ‘Ecosystem Services Review – (ESR)’ was delivered. ESR is a structured methodology that helps managers proactively develop strategies to manage business risks and opportunities arising from their company’s dependence and impact on ecosystems.

Mr. P.R. Sinha Country Representative of IUCN India, highlighted the current status of biodiversity in India. He talked about the legal framework for environmental Governance in India, where he pointed that Article 48-A and Article 51-A(g) of Indian Constitution provides overarching guidance on ecology and Environment. These articles under Indian Constitution will always be there, making the business case for being proactive for biodiversity and nature conservation. He also called upon participants to treat them as part of the connected system sustaining life on earth, and to work for mainstreaming conservation across sectors.

Mr. Mathew Parr, IUCN Netherlands together with Mr Vipul Sharma, IUCN India, sensitized the participants about the ESR and elaborated upon its methodology through interactive exercises. Subsequently, a detailed account of the ESR, currently undertaken by IUCN India in Mining Lease areas of Tata Steel was jointly presented by Mr. RR Satpathy, Chief Joda Mine (Tata Steel) and Mr. Vipul Sharma.

On Day 2, Mr. Parr deliberated on the need to embed natural capital in corporate and national accounts to realize a sustainable economy that values and conserves nature. In his presentation, he made a connection on importance of the ESR as a tool to understand the health of neighbouring ecosystems in terms of its capacity to provide valuable ecosystem services.

Ms. Archana Chatterjee, IUCN India was invited to give participants grounding in Wetland ecosystems and its role in providing ecosystem services viz. recharging of ground water, pollution abatement, source of fresh water etc. Besides discussing the threats to wetland ecosystems in India, she introduced participants to the Ramsar convention and the legal framework relating to conservation of wetlands.

Mr. Aditya Petwal, Coordinator LfN at IUCN India, discussed ecosystem enhancement through sustainable agriculture and emphasized that agro-ecological farming can be a strategy to improve ecosystem health as well as to support livelihoods for building a sustainable economy. Further on, in a brief presentation Ms. Aruna Rangachara Pohl, Director of IHFD, spoke about how different grassroots organizations associated with them are working on sustainable livelihoods.

“With our natural resources rapidly depleting, we need to make changes today to ensure the availability of our shared natural resources for tomorrow. To maintain business bottom lines, as well as opportunities for future generations to prosper, Solutions can only be found at the point where the business, governments and civil-societies meet.” said Ms. Romie Goedicke, IUCN NL, in her closing remarks.