Published: Sunday 30 April 2006

The International Finance Commission, the private sector arm of the World Bank, is on a reformation drive. Recently it issued a fresh set of regulations for companies borrowing from it (see 'Old whine in a new bottle' Down To Earth, March 31, 2006). It has also come up with an online guide that aims to "help companies operating in emerging markets better understand their relationship to biodiversity issues. The site teams with homilies on the virtues of conserving biodiversity: the poor bear the brunt of damage to biodiversity. There are links to case studies showing how some businesses have made a success of 'managing biodiversity. Links are also given to sites of IUCN, Bird Life International, Conservation International and the WWF -- organisations that catalogue biodiversity.

So far so good. But will the guide sensitise businesses? That's a totally different matter.

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