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Perspectives of BIOTRAILS Value Chain Stakeholders on Biodiversity Challenges
During the first 8 months of the BIOTRAILS project (December 2022 – July 2023), a stakeholder analysis of the key actors involved in the four value chains studied by the project was carried out to provide the basis for the focus of BIOTRAILS’ activities during the course of the project.
In order to carry out the stakeholder analysis, the first step was to identify the key actors in the four value chains. Following this task, the next step was to analyse their aims, needs and interests and to conduct a stakeholder network analysis to examine the actor’s interaction within the value chains.
Once the identification of the key actors in each value chain (both directly and indirectly involved) and the stakeholder network analysis had been completed, the project proceeded with a series of semi-structured interviews to analyse the stakeholders aims, needs and interests with regards to biodiversity. 5-10 interviews per case study were carried out with key representative stakeholders in each value chain to capture individual experiences, perceptions and attitudes regarding value chain dynamics and biodiversity concerns – and to identify barriers and needs.
An overview of the findings from the interviews is provided below:
Cocoa produced in Peru
The main biodiversity concerns of the interviewed stakeholders include deforestation, soil degradation due to excessive use of agrochemicals, and the planting of monocultures rather than growing different crop varieties. In terms of stakeholder needs, these include:
- increasing linkages within the value chain by improving communication and information flows, while also fostering trust with the cooperatives and providing educational and technical assistance to support sustainable production.
- sufficient funding mechanisms and research to facilitate the transition to sustainable agriculture, as well as for policies to control deforestation, conservation areas and strategic alliances between the sectors and institutions involved.
Fishery and aquaculture products in the Mediterranean
The interviews conducted so far have mainly focused on aquaculture. The main biodiversity concerns of the interviewed stakeholders include the degradation of the marine ecosystem due to the abandonment of aquaculture equipment, the improper maintenance of aquaculture maintenance systems and the inadequate handling and processing of by-products. To address these biodiversity-related concerns, it would require:
- training and education programmes on sustainable aquaculture, policy measures to support certification schemes, the establishment of organised aquaculture areas and the enforcement of environmental regulations.
- modernisation of infrastructure and processes to reduce waste and maximise resource efficiency, as well as for zootechnical measures to protect marine organisms and biodiversity.
Sustainable forest-based cultural products created by Indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon
The main biodiversity concerns of the interviewed stakeholders include the depletion of natural resources in terms of raw material extraction (seeds, roots, vines, clay, etc) and the overall degradation of ecosystems due to deforestation and land invasion. With regard to actors’ needs to address biodiversity concerns, these include:
- the substitution of natural materials with alternative ones and the establishment of reforestation programmes and territorial planning to protect indigenous lands.
- funding and investment in appropriate infrastructure and training for a sustainable production of handicrafts, better organisation and coordination of activities within the indigenous communities, and enforcement of policies against criminal activities.
Gold mined in Ghana
The main biodiversity concerns of the interviewed stakeholders include the ecosystem degradation due to water pollution and habitat destruction, as well as the resulting loss of flora and fauna species and land degradation. Stakeholders’ needs to address biodiversity concerns include:
- investment in alternative livelihoods to artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) to reduce the sectors’ pressure on the environment, as well as to enforce existing environmental protection frameworks.
- improving the connectivity and cohesion of the value chain network, as well as addressing the lack of transparency in terms of legal permits and improving institutional coordination.
The findings from the semi-structured interviews are detailed in D2.1 LAA stakeholder engagement guidelines and BIOTRAILS Learning platform. They have helped to shape the LAA’s targeted activities and operational action plan, aligning them with the validated aims and needs of stakeholders involved in and affected by the four value chains examined by BIOTRAILS.
As the BIOTRAILS Learning Platform, which will host the different LAAs activities and actions, is now live, we invite you to check it out, register and join us on the journey towards biodiversity-related transformative change.