To Whom It May Concern:
At the end of 2022, a landmark agreement on biodiversity — the UN Global Biodiversity Framework — was signed by 196 countries. It set out targets to halt and reverse global biodiversity loss, which is essential for maintaining a liveable planet for all life on earth. Crucially, the agreement calls out the role of the financial sector, recognizing the long-term failure of banks and investors to address their role in the biodiversity crisis.
At the same time, big banks — including Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Mizuho, Mitsubishi UFJ, Santander and Barclays — are continuing to pump billions of dollars into the expansion of destructive agriculture and logging businesses, devastating biodiversity and violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities across the world’s tropical forest regions.
Governments and financial institutions need to act now. We call on the financial sector to urgently adopt and implement these five principles:
1. Halt and reverse biodiversity loss by prohibiting finance to activities and sectors driving nature destruction;
2. Respect and prioritize the rights of Indigenous Peoples, women and local communities and ensure that policies and practices protect and prioritize the human rights of impacted communities;
3. Foster a just transition by prioritizing the ecological and social well-being of communities and engaging affected workers and communities in support of sustainable development;
4. Ensure ecosystem integrity by evaluating ecosystem-wide impacts prior to financing, and prohibit financing to activities which negatively impact ecosystem integrity;
5. Align institutional objectives across sectors, issues, and instruments by creating strong coherence between climate and nature targets and other institutional objectives.
In pursuit of these principles, all banks must immediately implement policies that align with the No Deforestation, No Peatland, No Exploitation (NDPE) standard. And banks must apply this at the corporate group level for all clients and for all forest-risk commodities.
There is no time to delay, banks must no longer be allowed to bankroll biodiversity collapse.