Environmental safeguards and performance standards (PS6)


It is ever more difficult to find land plots of the size required by development projects for which there are no simultaneous claims for nature conservation. In this scenario, many stakeholders can exert pressure on those companies that fail to take the appropriate measures. 

Institutions like the World Bank have develop policies to help identify, avoid, minimise, and restore harms to the environment, or compensate if necessary. The International Finance Corporation has produced a series of Performance Standards, which define its clients responsibilities for managing their environmental and social risks. Of these, Performance Standard 6 (PS6) deals specifically with biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of living natural resources, and is the standard I focus on.

I work with Global Biodiversity Consultants to provide guidance to development projects and manage their impacts on biodiversity and natural environment. I have a lot of experience and expertise with two concepts at the core of PS6: the key biodiversity areas (KBAs) and the red list of threatened species. I led the team that defined KBAs for eight countries in Latin America and still sit in the steering committee that is drafting the newest standards for their identification. Similarly, I acted for two years as co-coordinator of the amphibian global Red List, and played an important role in some of the species assessment updates.