ISO at the heart of global effort to rebuild our planet
Reviving and protecting our ecosystems is this year’s World Environment Day theme and marks the beginning of the United Nations decade on ecosystem restoration. ISO is committed to driving the movement towards a #generationrestoration with new standards and initiatives underway. Poverty, climate change and extreme weather events are just some of the havoc caused by the degradation of our environment, and now is the time to boost efforts to reverse that trend. Recognizing that stimulating biodiversity is vital to ecosystem regeneration, ISO’s newly formed technical committee ISO/TC 331, Biodiversity, is currently working on standards that can help all kinds of organizations and governments contribute to the effort.
The scope of work covers standardized terms and definitions, methodologies for impact analysis, frameworks for defining strategies and action plans, monitoring and reporting tools, and guidelines on specific biodiversity issues such as ecological engineering and nature-based solutions and technologies.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a liaison organization on ISO’s committee for biodiversity and has developed key global standards for biodiversity conservation, including the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, the Global Standard for Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas and the IUCN Nature-based Solutions Standard. “We are delighted to work with ISO to develop International Standards for biodiversity,” said Dr Thomas Brooks, IUCN Chief Scientist.
“The timing is crucial to support the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.” ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica added that international collaboration is essential. “The over-exploitation of land and species has eroded biodiversity, with consequences such as natural disasters and unequal distribution of food and water across the world,” he said. “Individual efforts can help, but what will really make the difference is collaboration at an international level. ISO standards can be the catalyst for that, providing agreed ways of working that organizations and governments everywhere can benefit from, to help move biodiversity issues higher up the political agenda.”
Restoring the ecosystem also requires significant investment and it is estimated that many trillions of dollars will be needed if we are to meet our net-zero carbon goals. That is why ISO has also been working on a new family of standards to facilitate a secure, transparent and effective green finance industry.
Recently published, ISO 14097, Greenhouse gas management and related activities – Framework including principles and requirements for assessing and reporting investments and financing activities related to climate change, helps financiers assess and report on their actions and see the real value of their contribution to climate goals.
The standard will be complemented by others in the series, currently in development, including the ISO 14030 series for the environmental performance evaluation of green debt instruments, ISO 14100, Green finance: Assessment of green financial projects, and ISO 14093, Mechanism for financing local adaptation to climate change: Performance-based climate resilience grants.
ISO has hundreds of standards that contribute to sustainable development and improving our impact on the environment, such as ISO 14001 on environmental management systems. Use of these standards will enable organizations to directly support all of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life below Water) and SDG 15 (Life on Land).