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Calendar20 October 2023

The three-day workshop, run by Ipieca, facilitated by UNEP-WCMC, and hosted by PETRONAS in Kuala Lumpur was followed by a field trip to a peat reserve to see biodiversity management and restoration practices in real life.

The Biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) peer-to-peer workshop, run by Ipieca, facilitated by UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP WCMC) and hosted by Ipieca member PETRONAS in Kuala Lumpur, brought together 60 energy industry professionals from 16 companies. The workshop aimed to share knowledge among participants and drive awareness and uptake of BES management good practices, tools and concepts to enable oil, gas and alternative energy developers to integrate BES management across their operations and decision making to avoid, manage and mitigate impacts on biodiversity.

The three-day workshop, which was open to environmental professionals from all oil, gas and alternative energy companies, was followed by a site visit to Raja Musa Forest Reserve where participants were able to see biodiversity conservation in real life and reflect on practical applications of the skills and practices discussed during the workshop. The peat swamp forest reservation forms part of PETRONAS’s Yayasan initiative ‘Walk 4 Trees Challenge’ which aims to plant 50,000 trees between 2020 and 2023 as well as establish carbon sinks in the forms of mangroves and peat reserves, enhance local ecosystems and drive community engagement.

The event was opened by PETRONAS Head of Strategy, Policy and Regulation, Corporate Sustainability Office, Wan Sayuti Bin Wan Hussin who emphasised the importance of nature to our world, the interconnection between climate and nature and the industry’s role in protecting and enhancing nature. The workshop was a mix of interactive presentations, group discussions, hypothetical case studies and activities covering:

  • Making the business case for BES

  • Latest and emerging BES good practice, tools and concepts

  • Integrating BES into project life cycles

  • Environmental, social and health impact assessments

  • Emerging nature-related disclosure frameworks

UNEP-WCMC’s Senior Programme Officer – Nature Economy Stacey Baggaley, who facilitated the workshop, said, ‘The BES peer-to-peer workshop provides a great platform for the sharing of biodiversity expertise and enhancing the knowledge of environmental professionals. The tools, guidance and case studies shared will support participants to consider nature issues in their day-to-day roles and in progressing towards a responsible energy transition.’

Mohd Nizam Basiron, Senior Manager, PETRONAS Centre of Excellence for Nature and Biodiversity, said, ‘Hosting the BES peer-to-peer workshop enabled PETRONAS to showcase our BES management activities and contribution to conservation while providing opportunities for our environment practitioners to interact with and learn from colleagues from peers. This will go a long way towards capacity building within the organization as we embark down the road of implementing the Position on Nature and Biodiversity.’

Ipieca Nature Manager Kristie Lo said, ‘As an environmental professional, being among 60 like-minded environmental experts committed to enhancing nature was a great and energising experience. It was satisfying to hear from participants that they will take back the Ipieca guidance and lessons learnt from the workshop to their projects and operations, where they can make a real on the ground difference to supporting healthy biodiversity and ecosystems.’

Collaboration, knowledge sharing and capacity building are a key part of Ipieca’s work to support the industry advance its environmental and social performance. In October, Ipieca will hold a Water peer-to-peer workshop in Paris, hosted by TotalEnergies.

UNEP WCMC and Ipieca

Ipieca has a long-standing relationship with UNEP-WCMC including through developing guidance that supports understanding and action on key BES issues across the energy industry.

PETRONAS’s commitment to nature

Recognising the need to strengthen areas of action for nature and biodiversity and shift existing approach from compliance-based to strategic positioning to keep pace with heighten demands, PETRONAS has developed and obtained approval from its board of directors for the Position on Nature and Biodiversity in 2022.

The Position comprises five areas of action namely establishing voluntary exclusion zones in UNESCO World Heritage areas, managing nature and biodiversity risk for operations and projects in Protected Areas and Key Biodiversity Areas, promoting nature and biodiversity through partnerships and collaboration, supporting public policy that aims to protect nature and biodiversity and promoting high-quality nature-based climate solutions. More information on the Position is available at PETRONAS’ Pathway to Net Zero Carbon Emissions 2050.

Snapshots from the BES peer to peer workshop, Kuala Lumpur [click for full size]

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