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IPIECA, jointly with the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP), works to responsibly integrate the management of biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) across the life cycle of oil and gas operations and embed the concept of BES issue management within operational practices and management systems. Preserving biodiversity and ecosystems is a priority for sustainable development and is supported by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

IPIECA works closely with the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) developing guidance, at external events and in the delivery of key BES issues across the oil and gas industry. This relationship has been formalized through the development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organizations. IPIECA also works with the Proteus Partnership which provides companies with the biodiversity information needed for better informed decisions and to support the development and improvement of key global biodiversity resources. 

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.

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