Biodiversity is our natural capital and is just as important to our future as climate protection.
Biodiversity is the technical term for biological diversity. This includes species diversity, genetic diversity and the diversity of ecosystems. Biodiversity forms the direct and indirect basis for human existence by providing food, oxygen and drinking water.
The global value of ecosystem services is estimated to be of the order of twice the sum of all gross national products. Both our quality of life and the performance of our economy are inseparable from the diversity and integrity of nature.
The “Biodiversity Quick Check” was developed by me in accordance with the “Biodiversity Check”. It was first developed for two sporting associations in 2014 within the framework of the DOSB competition “Sport on the move – experiencing biological diversity”.
Tool for an overview of positive and negative impacts on the environment
As the name suggests, the “Biodiversity Quick Check” provides an initial overview of the positive and negative effects of an organization and its organs on biodiversity. It is intended to raise awareness of the topic of biodiversity and the existing options for mediation of impacts, as well as motivate further investigations and measures.
It is a diagnostic, learning and implementation tool all in one. Its original, concise format makes it a user-friendly instrument for the promotion of biodiversity in organisations and enterprises.
Its utility lies primarily in its ability to identify the “problem zones” as well as the “quick wins” for a reasonable investment of time and effort. In this way, companies and organisations can minimise costs and risks, secure production bases and innovation potential, as well as increase reputation and customer loyalty.
Individualisation and personalisation for your Biodiversity Quick Check
Each individual “Biodiversity Quick Check” is developed individually for the organisation to be examined and is oriented on the current state of development and needs of this organisation. In doing so, it does not consider the entire network of activities and relationships, but restricts its scope to examining selected areas, topics and influencing factors.
It also identifies possible assessment criteria (indicators). It can be supplemented by an action plan or action catalogue. In its basic structure, it is aligned to the “Biodiversity Check”, thus providing the ideal basis for an elaboration of the more comprehensive “Biodiversity Audit”.
Practical examples from my work
Together with and for the German Equestrian Association, I developed a catalogue of measures for the promotion of biodiversity in horse associations and stables in 2014. Horses need stables, hay and straw, meadows and pastures. Many studfarms, horse sportsclubs and farmyards have barns, roofs and buildings with cracks and crevices, which provide nesting possibilities and food. In addition, there are areas with open ground, hedgerows and groups of trees, rich in species and structural diversity.
Above all, the diversity of structures and micro-climates, as well as the extensive use of pastures and hay meadows, are the basis for very specific species communities, possibly including highly specialised or endangered species, which can be described as “associated species” of the horses. These may include, for example, barn owls, swallows, wagtails, lapwings, and bats, not to mention grasshoppers, butterflies and dung beetles. Many of them are found in rural as well as in urban areas.
Despite the fact that broadly speaking the starting situation is quite favorable, there is nevertheless significant potential in many facilities for improving biodiversity. There is no lack of openness and goodwill, only some expert knowledge and conscious awareness of the existing fauna and flora. Consequently, as a general rule, an injection of specialist knowledge and practical guidelines can be useful for deriving concrete measures, and for integrating experience gained elsewhere.
The catalogue of measures for the promotion of biological diversity in riding associations and stables has been developed for the German Equestrian Association within the framework of the German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) project “Horses on the move – exploring, conserving and promoting biodiversity”.
If you want to learn more, our project report is recommended for further reading: Horses on the move, biodiversity discovery, preservation and promotion – Biodiversity Quick Check and action catalog for equestrian associations and stables. Or also from the German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) Report.
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