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Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services Fundamentals

Ecosystem Services

IPIECA’s work on BES is underpinned by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, which acts as an international framework of reference for biodiversity issues. The concept of BES is becoming integrated across a number of sectors and many governments and financial institutions have developed BES-related standards as part of approval processes linked to environmental and social safeguarding frameworks. IPIECA has developed a number of tools and guides to assist industry to meet these standards, and have also developed indicators and metrics to measure performance.

BES fundamentals

IPIECA’s  Biodiversity and ecosystem services fundamentals. Guidance document for the oil and gas sector  brings together information essential to informing BES strategy development and decision making at the corporate level and at the key stages of an asset life cycle for any type of operation or environmental context. The guide sets out a management framework comprised of six interrelated BES management practices.

The benefits that ecosystems contribute towards human well-being (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005).  The concept of ecosystem goods and services is synonymous with ES, which can be divided into four categories:

  1. Provisioning services – products or goods such as water, fish, or timber;
  2. Regulating services – ecosystem functions such as flood control and climate regulation;
  3. Cultural services – non-material benefits such as recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits; and
  4. Supporting services – fundamental processes such as nutrient cycling and photosynthesis that support the above three categories.

Source: Based on World Resources Institute (WRI) materials.

Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services Fundamentals

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