eDNA Highlighted in IUCN’s Corporate Biodiversity Guidelines

Published: 26th May 2021

eDNA has been included in IUCN’s guidelines for planning and monitoring corporate biodiversity performance, representing a major milestone for the mainstreaming of a new technology.  

In the guidelines published last month, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), highlighted eDNA as a cost-effective method of monitoring biodiversity. This is the first time that this technology has been included in mainstream guidance for the business community. These guidelines were published to help companies evaluate their biodiversity performance and promote internal decision-making and external disclosure.  

The guidelines state that environmental DNA monitoring is increasingly being used in terrestrial as well as aquatic systems to monitor species diversity. Where appropriate and cost-effective, such technologies can help collect data while minimising the time needed for people on the ground.”  

NatureMetrics is already working with businesses at the forefront of environmental governance who are using eDNA to conduct baseline surveys and track progress in delivering on corporate commitments to be nature positive. In particular, we recently announced a major programme of work with Anglo American to pilot the use of eDNA for environmental impact assessment in multiple mine sites around the world.  

To make the most of this opportunity we have formed a multi-stakeholder group including Anglo American along with IUCN, bp plc, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and The Biodiversity Consultancy to explore how eDNA can help support company commitments to net positive impacts on biodiversity. 

Warwick Mostert, Biodiversity Principal at Anglo American commented that they were really looking forward to see how this approach supports the development of site-based indicators and targets for nature positive outcomes.” 

NatureMetrics founder Dr Kat Bruce discusses how eDNA is bringing a new perspective to environmental management.  

The working group will develop a framework for how the extractives industry can deploy DNA-based monitoring approaches to improve biodiversity outcomesThe framework will follow the IUCN guidelines ensuring recommendations are: “accurate, reliable, feasible, and appropriate”. The group will consider how DNA-based approaches can: 

  • Support each stage of the mitigation hierarchy. 
  • Identify irreplaceable habitat and detect critical species. 
  • Assess ecological equivalence of habitats in different locations. 
  • Monitor restoration success and inform adaptive.
  • Identify offset sites and enable local stakeholders to engage in long-term monitoring.  

NatureMetrics is proud to be at the forefront of eDNA technology advancement, ensuring that scientific research is developed into simple-to-use tools that enable businesses to do better for biodiversity by enabling data-driven decision-making.  

To find out more about our DNA based technology visit our infohub or visit our sector pages to see how this technology is being applied around the world. 

Read the full IUCN report here, featuring the NatureMetrics Aquatic eDNA sampling kit in Stage 4: Collect, share and analyse data, learn lessons and adapt.

Authors: Ropafadzo Mugadza, Dr Kat Bruce, Cath Tayleur
By Published On: 26th May 2021Categories: Articles, News & Blogs

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