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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.

  • Nature | IMPACT OPPORTUNITY 4: Resources management

    Responsibly manage resources to support a circular economy.

    ACTIONS FOR IPIECA
    Level of potential impact on the SDGs L Low M Medium H High
    Timeframe S 1–3 yrs M 4–6 yrs L 7–9 yrs

    Impact pathways
    Priority SDG targets* Level of potential impact on the SDGs Timeframe
    30. Convene the industry to identify, promote and share good practices on how to manage effective environmental performance in operations, joint ventures and the supply chain. 9.5 M S
    31. Facilitate knowledge sharing of environmental good practice and experiences from the oil and gas sector to support the sustainable uptake of alternative energy. 9.4
    12.2
    M S
    32. Engage with leading circular economy initiatives to identify key steps for the sector to support a circular and low-carbon transition. 12.2
    12.4
    12.5
    14.1
    M S
    33. Develop or update good practice guidance and definitions for the sector and supply chain around principles of circularity. 9.4
    9.5
    12.2
    12.4
    12.5
    12.6
    14.1
    M M
    OPTIONS FOR OIL AND GAS COMPANIES
    Level of potential impact on the SDGs L Low M Medium H High
    Timeframe S 1–3 yrs M 4–6 yrs L 7–9 yrs

    Impact pathways
    Priority SDG targets* Level of potential impact on the SDGs Timeframe
    34. Identify opportunities to integrate circular practices and associated indicators into product stewardship and supply chain management. 12.2
    12.6
    14.1
    M S
    35. Embed sustainable design and circularity principles at early project stages, and throughout development, to increase the sustainability of project infrastructure, processes, and products. 9.1
    9.4
    9.5
    12.2
    12.4
    12.5
    12.6
    H S

  • Nature | IMPACT OPPORTUNITY 5: Biodiversity, land and water stewardship

    Conserve, restore and promote biodiversity and ecosystem services.

    ACTIONS FOR IPIECA
    Level of potential impact on the SDGs L Low M Medium H High
    Timeframe S 1–3 yrs M 4–6 yrs L 7–9 yrs

    Impact pathways
    Priority SDG targets* Level of potential impact on the SDGs Timeframe
    36. Lead the engagement with UN agencies (UNEP, UNCBD) and other stakeholders to support international progress on biodiversity, water and air quality. 14.2
    15.1
    15.A
    15.B
    M S
    37. Continue to promote within the oil and gas sector, and beyond, the application of the mitigation hierarchy17 in managing impacts on marine and terrestrial environments. 15.1
    15.2
    15.5
    M M
    38. Leverage member expertise and collaborate with external stakeholders to develop good practices on nature-based solutions (NbS) – including working with well-established platforms. 14.2
    15.1
    15.2
    15.3
    15.5
    M L
    39. Co-develop sector guidance with stakeholders on how to implement effective strategies to measure sector and company progress on avoiding and minimising impacts to biodiversity and ecosystem services, e.g. update guidance on how to develop biodiversity action plans (BAPs) to include latest developments in scientific knowledge, technology, policies, regulations and nature positive. 12.6
    14.2
    15.1
    15.2
    15.3
    15.5
    H S-M
    40. Leverage connections with other expert groups around developing company strategies for restoration, which may include the management and conservation of forests, to avoid deforestation and land-use change, and to plan restoration. 14.2
    15.1
    15.2
    15.5
    M M
    41. Encourage knowledge sharing and develop sector guidance for conservation of key ecosystems that support climate adaptation and increase resilience (e.g., carbon-storage ecosystems, forests and watersheds) in partnership with other organizations such as conservation NGOs. 13.1
    14.2
    15.1
    15.2
    15.3
    H L
    42. Develop the IPIECA-API-IOGP Sustainability reporting guidance for the oil and gas industry to include metrics focused on biodiversity (such as the biodiversity indicators for site-based impacts). 12.6
    13.2
    H M
    43. Enable consistency in reporting ENV-4 (protected and priority areas for biodiversity conservation) by developing guidance for protected or sensitive areas and biodiversity reporting. 12.6
    14.2
    15.1
    M S
    44. Promote and facilitate discussion within the oil and gas sector and beyond around the UNGC Sustainable Ocean Principles and associated guidance documents. 14.1
    14.2
    14.3
    16.7
    16.10
    H S
    45. Promote and contribute to the development and implementation of marine spatial strategies to encourage concerted management of the rights of the different users. 14.2
    14.C
    M L
    46. Develop guidance on how to operate in or near protected areas. 14.2
    15.1
    M S
    47. Develop a marine biodiversity and ecosystem services baseline good practice guidance document. 14.2 M S
    48. Provide guidance and peer learning to enable the oil and gas industry to identify water risks and provide a framework for watershed level management. 6.3
    6.4
    6.6
    H S
    OPTIONS FOR OIL AND GAS COMPANIES
    Level of potential impact on the SDGs L Low M Medium H High
    Timeframe S 1–3 yrs M 4–6 yrs L 7–9 yrs

    Impact pathways
    Priority SDG targets* Level of potential impact on the SDGs Timeframe
    49. Implement environmental management practices that incorporate the mitigation hierarchy to promote biodiversity and ecosystem services, with a focus on critical ecosystems and protected areas. 14.2
    15.1
    15.2
    15.3
    15.5
    H L
    50. Develop a holistic approach to environmental management that takes into consideration direct, indirect and cumulative impacts - such as on ecosystem services - across the project lifecycle. 6.1
    6.3
    6.4
    6.5
    6.6
    6.B
    12.2
    14.1
    14.2
    12.2
    15.1
    M S
    51. Adopt water stewardship strategies that include collaboration around integrated water resources management, local participation in the collective management of water particularly in areas of water scarcity, and improvement of water quality and re-use of water, where feasible to reduce usage of fresh water. 6.1
    6.3
    6.4
    6.5
    6.6
    6.B
    12.2
    14.1
    14.2
    15.1
    L M
    52. Share relevant marine environmental data (e.g. environmental baseline, monitoring studies, seismic data, EIA), for use in public or private online databases, (e.g. UNEP-WCMC and Global Biodiversity Information Facility [GBIF]), or country specific databases and collaborate with research institutions on the UN Decade of Ocean Science. 14.A M M
    53. Contribute to sustainable shipping practices throughout the value chain (e.g. through compliance with IMO/MARPOL requirements such as development and application of strict ballast water management practices and adoption of lower sulphur and alternative marine fuels for improved air quality). 12.4
    14.1
    14.2
    M M
    54. Finance joint industry projects related to sustainable ocean management (e.g. IOGP and eDNA JIP). 14.2 M M