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Published September 05, 2023
University of Wyoming economist Jake Hochard, the Knobloch Associate Professor of Conservation Economics in the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, was nominated by representatives of the White Office of Science and Technology Policy to contribute to an international assessment of how businesses affect and rely on nature.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an independent intergovernmental body that works to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services, has gathered experts and practitioners from around the world to contribute to the report.
Hochard will represent the United States in serving as a lead author for the assessment’s second chapter that focuses on how business benefits from biodiversity across the globe. In addition to Hochard, the team supporting the second chapter includes experts and practitioners nominated by the governments of South Africa, Colombia, Republic of Korea, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Malaysia and Finland.
Hochard is an environmental economist whose work combines geospatial analysis, mathematical modeling and empirical analysis to examine feedback between natural and human systems -- with the goal of engaging with stakeholders to support natural resource policy development and management decisions.
“I’m thrilled and humbled to join this international effort,” Hochard says. “Whether it’s wildlife driving ecotourism, tropical plants supporting pharmaceutical discovery or pollinators promoting crop production, the links between biodiversity and business are critical, and collating them in this chapter will be an exciting contribution.”
The assessment is expected to take up to two years and also will examine how business impacts biodiversity; approaches for measurement of how business benefits from and impacts biodiversity; options for businesses to serve as key actors of change; and how civil society, governments and the financial sector can create an enabling environment for businesses to support biodiversity conservation.
The first in-person meeting of the group’s lead authors will be in Bogota, Colombia, in later this month.
IPBES is not a United Nations body, but the United Nations Environment Programme provides secretariat services to the group.