Cap Business Océan Indien and Expertise France join forces to unite the regional private sector around this critical issue

Engaging businesses in the region to work towards preserving terrestrial and marine biodiversity. This is the goal of the partnership between Cap Business Océan Indien, an association that brings together regional private sector players, and Expertise France, a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). A financing agreement of €700,000 was signed between the two entities on Friday, May 13, on the sidelines of the International Day for Biological Diversity that is celebrated every year on May 22, as part of the Varuna Program. The goal is to unite a group of development partners around a vital issue: protecting a focus
Biodiversity of the southwestern Indian Ocean.

These funds will fund the Business for Biodiversity Project, which provides awareness-raising and capacity-building measures for businesses in the region through 2025. The goal is to help them measure their impact on ecosystems, and encourage the adoption of nature-based practices and solutions.

It was unanimously observed: private companies in the region are not fully informed about biodiversity issues, and have fewer tools to measure their ecological footprint. With the Business for Biodiversity project, we want to address this through increased awareness, training and technical support. In doing so, we want them to integrate biodiversity-related issues into their management and engage in thinking about their own production methods. ‘,” explains Virginie Laureate, CEO of Cap Business Océan Indien. We are proud of our ability to count on the support of France’s experts, which gives us the opportunity to participate in the implementation of a component of the Varona Programme. ‘, she adds.

For Valentin Grange, Project Manager at the Biodiversity Department at Experts France, “ The exceptional endemic biodiversity of the southwestern Indian Ocean forms a strong identity for the region. However, this identity is threatened by the erosion of biodiversity, compromising all ecosystem services, such as freshwater supply, soil regulation and pollination. These ecosystem services are still little taken into account in private sector growth plans. That is why we believe it is necessary to encourage coordinated efforts and support economic players in the region in taking into account the challenges of environmental transformation. With its activity and ability to structure networks of regional actors, Cap Business Océan Indien is the ideal partner to carry out this mission. “.

Implementation of this project will be led, in the six district districts, by a soon-to-be-appointed Project Manager. In addition to developing a business plan, he will be responsible for leading a public-private dialogue platform on topics related to biodiversity, natural capital and nature-based solutions.

Academics from the region will be closely associated with these exchanges in order to strengthen the relationship between the academic and economic worlds. Several awareness-raising tools will be developed throughout the program to disseminate knowledge, in particular, corporate environmental impact indicators. Certified public accountants and CSR managers in the region will be trained on tools
Social and Environmental Accounting.

For Cap Business Océan Indien, this partnership with Expertise France is part of the strategy presented in the roadmap 2021-2026, published in November 2021. Where the association has made biodiversity conservation a cross-cutting priority, with the same title The Cap Business Océan Indien – A Confederation of Chambers Trade and Industry in the Indian Ocean, Circular Economy, Inclusion, Low Carbon Strategies and Business Resilience. The goal is to produce a new economic model that is more equitable, sustainable and resilient on a regional scale.

The Business for Biodiversity project was made possible thanks to funding from France through the French Development Agency
and its subsidiary Expertise France.

About Cape Business Indian Ocean

Cap Business Océan Indien, an association registered in Mauritius as the Union of Indian Ocean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UCCIOI), was established in 2005. It plays a major role in regional economic cooperation, and now includes more than thirty chambers of commerce, industry and professional organizations from Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion and Seychelles. Through its initiatives and positions, Cap Business Océan Indien facilitates collaboration between companies and industries, articulating future challenges to foster the emergence of common fronts in the region.

About France Experts

A public agency, Expertise France is a major player in international technical cooperation, a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) group. It designs and implements projects that promote public policies sustainably in developing and emerging countries. Governance, security, climate, health, education…

It intervenes in key areas of development and together with its partners contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). for a common world.

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About the Varuna Program

VARUNA is a regional initiative of the AFD Group that aims to conserve the biodiversity ‘hotspot’ in the southwestern Indian Ocean by bringing together a coalition of development partners (institutions, practitioners, academics, commercial and non-commercial private sector) for long-term investments in biodiversity conservation in Region.

This approach aims to be programmatically dynamic in the medium and long term (10-15 years) with first funding provided by the French Development Agency from 2021 and a mandate entrusted to the French expert body to coordinate and operate the programme. VARUNA aims to become the ‘one-stop brand’ for the AFD Group’s business and development partners working for the biodiversity of the Indian Ocean.

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