The 2019 IPBES Global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services documented the unprecedented rate of decline in global biodiversity, raising awareness of impending potential risks for society and businesses. In the last 50 years the direct drivers of change in nature with the largest global impact have included changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution, and invasion of alien species. While the rate of forest loss has slowed globally since 2000, 32 million hectares of primary or recovering forest were lost between 2010 and 2015. 66 % of the ocean area is experiencing increasing cumulative impacts, and over 85 % of wetlands area has been lost. There has been on average a 68 % decrease in population sizes of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish between 1970 and 2016.
The oil and gas sector continues to undertake activities to help conserve and restore the natural environment as well as to avoid, reduce and mitigate risks and impacts from operations and products. The sector has an opportunity to continue to embed circularity, nature positive, and natural capital concepts into operations and also, where practicable, to extend these in joint ventures and through the supply chain.
IPIECA will continue to play a critical role in stewarding engagement with UN agencies and other stakeholders to support international progress on biodiversity, natural capital, water and air quality. IPIECA also has an important role to play in leveraging industry expertise and further developing sector good practices in areas around the efficient use of resources and in land and water stewardship. Individual companies operating in the sector also have an opportunity to improve their impact by developing and promoting good practices and by deploying innovations not only in their own operations, but also in joint ventures and their supply chains. Oil and gas companies also have an important opportunity to leverage and share their long-standing knowledge and experience when it comes to managing environmental and social impacts to address emerging impacts associated with growth in alternative energy.