The World Economic Forum recently reported that ‘major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse’ is one of the top ten risks facing our world in 2019 both by likelihood and by impact. The May report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) (the biodiversity equivalent of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)) highlight that biodiversity loss is now evident on every continent, in every taxonomic group, and every ecosystem. “We are at a crossroads. The historic and current degradation and destruction of nature undermine human well-being for current and countless future generations” Sir Robert Watson, IPBES chair, said.
Businesses recognising these material risks around biodiversity are turning to the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) to help them. IBAT is an online platform where users can access added value services around the three most authoritative global biodiversity datasets. These include an interactive map, reports, country profiles, data download, and web services.
IBAT is now used by over 70 companies and financial institutions on a daily basis to help identify risks and opportunities. They include Rio Tinto, Shell, BP, JP Morgan, IFC, the World Bank, General Motors, and consultancies such as ERM and The Biodiversity Consultancy. “I use IBAT as a research tool to pull information to look where we can improve the environment around us and to be aware of where there may be issues near us.” Explains Susan Kelsey of General Motors.
One of IBAT’s most popular functionalities is the biodiversity data report delivered as a package that includes a PDF document, raw data in CSV format, and map files. Our report templates include a simple proximity report, a World Bank Group biodiversity risk report, and a freshwater report. The team are also now working on a multi-site report that will make including biodiversity into annual sustainability reporting much easier. Other functionalities include an interactive map, country profiles, data download, and web services.
The underlying datasets within IBAT are:
- The World Database on Protected Areas. The WDPA is the most comprehensive global database on protected areas and is updated on a monthly basis.
- The World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas. The WDKBA compiles the data on all sites of significance for the global persistence of biodiversity.
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ is the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species and their links to human livelihoods.
The tool is currently used by 100s of decision-makers on a daily basis but we can do more. Over the next couple of years, we will continue to improve the platform and offer more functionalities to serve more decision-makers. We welcome all feedback on the tool and any advice on new functionalities that you’d like to see.
IBAT or the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool is a web-based map and reporting tool that provides fast, easy and integrated access to three of the world’s most authoritative global biodiversity datasets: the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the World Database on Protected Areas, and the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas. IBAT is developed and maintained by the IBAT Alliance (BirdLife International, Conservation International, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre) with the aim to enable users to make informed decisions in policy and practice. For more information on IBAT visit www.ibat-alliance.org and connect with us on LinkedIn.