The United Nations Environment Program has teamed up with global conservation groups to create two new internet databases of protected and ecologically important sites. Their aim is to help businesses make environmentally sound decisions when entering new areas.
The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) integrates the UN list of protected areas with Google mapping software. This information was previously only available to scientists, but now businesses, like oil and mining companies, can access the exact boundaries of areas like nature reserves and national parks and analyze their potential environmental impact before moving in. In the event that companies already have a presence in these areas, they can make necessary changes to minimize their impact.
The Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) adds information on Key Biodiversity Sites to the WDPA data. This information includes both protected and unprotected areas where animals or plants are endangered, or where populations are globally significant. Also included are articles outlining how businesses can make decisions based on the data.
Major companies like BP, Chevron, Shell, ExxonMobil, Microsoft and Bank of America are helping to fund the projects.
To me, it seems like these tools should have been in place a long time ago. I’ll be interested to see how they are used and if businesses take the data to heart.
via Green Inc.
written by Fred, June 26, 2009
|< Prev||Next >|