Climate change

ICC joins The Lion’s Share Fund to harness private sector leadership to protect wildlife habitats

  • 6 November 2020

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) will help advance the aims of The Lion’s Share Fund, an initiative co-founded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to encourage greater private sector investment in biodiversity conservation.

In recognition of the interdependency of people and nature, ICC is supporting The Lion’s Share Fund, to reverse biodiversity loss and protect threatened wildlife. Launched in 2018, The Lion’s Share Fund is a unique initiative led by UNDP to rally private sector leadership and consumer support for wildlife conservation, animal protection, and ecosystem restoration across the world.

In particular, the Fund provides companies with an opportunity to contribute 0.5% of their media spend on advertising campaigns featuring images of animals towards wildlife conservation, habitats, and animal welfare projects. As part of its work, the Fund aims to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 13 (Climate action), SDG 14 (Life below water), SDG 15 (Life on land), and SDG 17 (Partnerships).

“With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact lives and livelihoods, the imperative to protect our planet’s treasured biodiversity has become ever more clear. Now is the time to address the disturbing trend of increasing biodiversity loss and to promote the sustainable use of our shared biological resources. In partnership with UNDP, ICC will support the The Lion’s Share Fund to encourage decisive private sector action and bold solutions that will help to realise more resilient ecosystems globally,” said ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO.

By supporting the Fund, ICC will mobilise its worldwide network of businesses to accelerate investment in the SDGs and promote greater private sector investment in wildlife to advance biodiversity conservation. ICC will encourage businesses to take positive action for global diversity by joining the Fund’s growing list of partner organisations, which includes Mars, Incorporated, The Economist Group, Gucci, Cartier, the UN Environment Programme, Nielsen and JCDecaux. In addition, ICC and UNDP will cooperate to ensure that local economic actors, especially those in wildlife communities, are able to adapt to the challenges associated with COVID-19.  This recent collaboration reaffirms ICC’s continued commitment to work with partners across the globe to accelerate investment in the SDGs and to make climate and nature everyone’s business.

“Strong global partnerships are needed if we are to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and tackle the dual nature and climate crises facing humanity. We are calling on organizations of all sizes to join The Lion’s Share and help build a global movement for nature. Together, we can create a significant impact for generations to come,” said Ulrika Modéer, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy.

“For over 100 years brands have used images of animals to help make the most memorable and effective advertising in the world.  However, the crisis in our ecosystems now means that consumers are expecting the private sector to step up. The Lion’s Share is an innovative way for brands to give something back to the biodiversity on our planet. We at The Lion’s Share are incredibly buoyed by the list of high profile brands that have jumped on board early, and thrilled to have the ICC join us and the UNDP in our effort to sign on as many brands as possible,” said The Lion’s Share Co-Founder Christopher Nelius.

Launched in September 2018, the Fund has helped the Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique to eliminate elephant poaching, by improving critical radio systems for law enforcement officers protecting wildlife. It has also co-financed the purchase of land for critically endangered orangutans, elephants and tigers in North Sumatra, Indonesia, and is expanding its work, creating an all-female team of forest rangers and the island’s first rhino sanctuary. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, The Lion’s Share recently announced new grants to support communities dependent on wildlife-based tourism – an industry that employs millions and is critical to wildlife conservation around the world, but one that has been devastated by the pandemic. The grants will fund local projects in nine countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America to build resilience in wildlife-rich areas and support protection of threatened wildlife in their last strongholds.

As the voice for business at the United Nations, ICC is committed to advancing the private-sector’s adoption of the SDGs. ICC’s partnership with The Lion’s Share Fund is the organization’s latest commitment to increase private sector action for nature. In January, ICC joined Business for Nature to issue policy recommendations calling upon government leaders to take concrete action to protect nature and was instrumental in mobilizing over 560 companies with revenues of US$ 4 trillion to call on governments to adopt policies now to reverse nature loss in this decade. On 28 September, ICC joined leaders from 71 Governments to sign the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature committing to meaningful action and mutual accountability to address the biodiversity emergency.