People travelled from all corners of the globe to Mexico for one very important appointment, the 2016 Business and Biodiversity Forum.
We are delighted to share that our founder and CEO, José Koechlin, was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Business and Biodiversity Forum (B&BF). Mr Koechlin was selected because of his 40 years of experience in pioneering ecotourism and sustainable development in Peru. Having chaired numerous tourism and conservation boards throughout his career, Mr Koechlin has contributed huge value to Peru’s tourism and conservation sectors. In addition, Mr Koechlin has participated in Peru’s main trade and commercial associations and served as Chairman of the Peruvian Association of Adventure Travel and Ecotourism (APTAE) from 1998 to 2002. Therefore, it is no surprise to us that he was chosen to share all he has learned over the 40 years!
The Forum, which ran in parallel with the Ministerial High-Level Segment of the COP13, addressed the business opportunities, experiences and challenges of mainstreaming biodiversity. Diverse productive sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism played a key role in the event, represented by international ministers and renowned experts. Business leaders signed the Business and Biodiversity Pledge to confirm their commitment to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, through actions to achieve goals of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. It was the first time that such a business pledge has been issued at a CBD Conference of the Parties.
Mr Koechlin’s key argument at the event is that corporations owe the public a responsibility to be eco-friendly and that “sharing Inkaterra’s passion for biodiversity through ecotourism is a key to raising awareness”. He then stated that “travellers are seeking authentic, educational experiences” so there is a great opportunity in the market for businesses to offer amazing adventures that have conservation at their heart, which is exactly what we at Inkaterra pride ourselves in offering.
The 2016 Global Risks Report of the World Economic Forum demonstrated that biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse are major risks of the private sector’s potential impact. Therefore, an innovative approach to this was addressed at B&BF. A proposal was made that aimed to include mainstream biodiversity into the planning and operation of productive sectors, which will help integrate conservation and sustainable use into the private sector. We eagerly await the outcome of the debates and hope that the private sector starts to take a leaf out of Mr Koechlin’s book!