What is the
BIG initiative ?
The Biodiversity Impulsion Group is an applied research and collective action program, bringing together project owners, major users, public and private contractors and biodiversity experts, with the aim of integrating biodiversity into the design and management of real estate projects in France.
WHAT IS BIODIVERSITY?
Biodiversity is a term from the life sciences, which includes the diversity of species, genetic diversity, and the diversity of ecosystems, as well as all the potential interactions that might occur between these elements. This biodiversity is currently threatened by two phenomena: the mass extinction of numerous species, as well as a decrease in numbers.
Biodiversity has already undergone crises due to major natural upheavals. Today, we are therefore talking about a sixth biodiversity crisis, which is characterised by a particularly rapid process: whereas the previous changes were spread out over a period of several centuries, today the impacts are being felt over just a matter of decades.
LET’S NOT FORGET ORDINARY BIODIVERSITY
Biodiversity appeals to a particularly emotional form of imagination, often linked to more emblematic or more visible species: blue whales, polar bears or lions, for example. While the conservation efforts for these species are essential, we are also looking at so-called ordinary biodiversity, meaning the biodiversity that surrounds us, that of our local ecosystems, made up of common species: earthworms, pollinating insects, birds living in buildings, etc. On our land, this biodiversity is threatened by human activities, notably linked to real estate activities: fragmentation of the landscape, artificialisation of soil, exploitation of resources, and more.
Proportion OF ANIMAL and
plant species known to be
threatened by extinction
Decrease IN the
OF WILD VERTEBRATEs
BETWEEN 1970 AND 2016
Proportion of terrestrial
species set to become extinct
due to lack of habitat
decline in the abundance
of bird species
living in buildings
between 1989 and 2019 in France
And yet biodiversity is essential !
Biodiversity is increasingly being discussed in public debates currently, as it is the environment in which human activities generally take place, and its unprecedented collapse has dramatic consequences for the human race. The ecological functions of biodiversity are the foundation of our society’s activities. Preserving it means preserving ourselves!
Biodiversity is the basis of what is known as ecological functionality. These are all the processes which enable ecosystems to be maintained. These processes are established between biodiversity and the physical and chemical environment. For example, vegetation participates in the water cycle, which is necessary for all ecosystems.
By interacting with its environment, biodiversity exerts regulatory properties over the environment: air quality, infiltration of rainwater, filtering pollutants, regulating the temperature in cities, etc. Its proper functioning ensures the cycle of organic matter, which allows species, notably humans, to feed, to drink, find shelter, and more.
Biodiversity and, more generally, nature are a source of social connections and well-being for the human species. The term biophilia is used to describe the mental, psychological and physical well-being generated by the proximity of “Nature”. These spaces are also places for socialising and education: shared gardens, urban parks, etc.
volume of water evaporated
every day by a beech tree
MOLINIER et AL., 2021
2 to 3°C
Average annual night-time temperature differential between Paris
and rural areas
The social cost of
air pollution in Paris
per yea, per person
EUROPEAN PUBLIC HEALTH ALLIANCE, 2020
Taking action to support biodiversity
For all the reasons mentioned above, taking action is now a necessity. Getting involved with biodiversity must be both a personal, as well as a collective mission.
Go BIG for Nature!
GETTING INVOLVED INDIVIDUALLY
Starting right from today, you can get involved individually in your company, in several ways:
- Making your employees and teams aware of the issues at stake, in order to raise their awareness;
- Taking action to reduce pressure on biodiversity, by adopting a low-use approach to energy, water, consumables, etc.
- Researching, so as to better understand the challenges of biodiversity;
- Making your land into a biodiversity refuge.
GETTING YOUR COMPANY INVOLVED
Individual commitment is not enough, however, in the face of the scale of the challenge. The commitment of companies is essential, and can be achieved in several ways:
- Implementing a biodiversity charter for your assets and real estate projects;
- Systematically raising awareness among the occupants of buildings with planted areas;
- Contractually formalising biodiversity commitments with service providers, based on concrete and measurable actions;
- Committing to local initiatives, such as BIG.