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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Biodiversity icon…as competing user demands and interests increase

The world’s more biodiverse regions tend to coincide with higher human population densities. As biodiversity becomes scarcer, these areas could face competing interest from industry, agriculture and forestry, conservation and research. This will impact upon land use policies and regulations for business operational expansions and brand enhancement.

…as human populations rise and consumption trends change

Per capita consumption, particularly associated with wealth increases, and human populations are predicted to increase in concert, resulting in greater pressure on natural resources. This subsequently increases competition over land and biodiversity resources and endangers corporate reputations and marketability of products.

…as the consequences of climate change increase pressures on biodiversity stocks

Climate change can force species to shift their ranges and can disrupt ecological communities through changes in patterns of rainfall or weather events. Elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 and changes in temperature are expected to alter crop yields and also threaten corals through ocean acidification. New initiatives and technologies aimed at mitigating climate change may also have negative effects on biodiversity and need to be appropriately planned and managed. Although investing in climate change mitigation and adaptation to safeguard biodiversity may incur significant business costs, consequences of biodiversity loss may signify further costs as well as reputational harm.