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Helping organisations to address risks to marine biodiversity and to deliver nature positive actions

We provide global advisory services to address risks associated with projects that lead to site-based impacts on marine biodiversity. We also support the delivery of broader transformative actions that lead to positive outcomes for biodiversity, people, and climate.

We take a collaborative approach using our global network of advisors and marine biodiversity researchers. We share knowledge and provide access to tools and guidance. We deliver capacity building within organisations and for local stakeholders. Part of our mission is to deliver actions that are positive for local people; and we place emphasis on ensuring local engagement and participation in what we do.

We also fund nature positive projects that are aligned with our core aims using profits from our advisory services.

Advisory services

Using our consultancy experience, focused expertise, tools, and scientific networks to address risks to business and biodiversity and to deliver nature positive outcomes

Our projects

Our projects

The reason for our focus

Marine biodiversity is in crisis across the globe and actions are needed to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. Over 70% of the planet is covered by the oceans and seas; and they are under threat from exploitation of natural capital resources, habitat destruction and disturbance, pollution and marine debris, invasive species, climate change etc.

Threats and the erosion of biodiversity globally have led to implementation of conservation research and protection, development of regulations and creation of best practice environmental safeguard standards. Global biodiversity policies and frameworks have been implemented to try to address the ocean sustainability crisis, including Aichi targets and UN Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework will set out an ambition for biodiversity recovery over the coming decades. The UN General Assembly has also declared 2021-2030 as the Decade of Biodiversity Restoration, which aligns with the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals. There is ever-increasing awareness that health and well-being of people is tightly connected to nature; and acknowledgement of the important role that nature plays for economic and business health.

We are fully committed to supporting global goals to protect and enhance marine biodiversity and the focus of our advisory services is to assess risks and to support the implementation of effective mitigation.

Our approach

We have a deep understanding of the risks to marine biodiversity and how to address them. We understand the science, but also business needs; and provide balanced advice to create the best outcomes for biodiversity and local people.

We provide our advisory services to companies, International Finance Institutions (IFIs), governments, and non-governmental organisations.

A framework that provides more information on the structure of our advisory services can be viewed and downloaded here.

We provide expert marine biodiversity advice to address impacts related to proposed or existing operations. We are engaged with projects across the development life-cycle including undertaking baseline surveys, screening, natural and critical habitat assessments, applying the mitigation hierarchy, Biodiversity Action Planning and developing offset strategies; as well as monitoring the implementation of mitigation actions. We apply best practice in our approaches, including full compliance with IFI biodiversity safeguard standards. As part of our advice for implementing mitigation we support projects to achieve no net loss and net gains. We have proven history of delivering studies that have obtained lender support and national permitting for multi-sectoral development projects internationally.

We have a deep understanding of baseline conditions across many broad seascapes, and we connect with a global network of leading researchers and respectfully use knowledge held by Indigenous people and local communities. This has enabled us to provide the best available knowledge and to help overcome data uncertainties.

Through our Bluedot+ initiative, we support companies to deliver broader nature positive strategies and actions that go beyond mitigating site-based impacts. This includes helping companies to understand risks across their value chains, implementing marine nature-based solutions, developing approaches that are equitable and just for people, fostering collaborations and partnership with local communities and groups, helping with the transparent disclosing of actions, and supporting the sharing of data and knowledge. We support companies to implement actions using our global network and provide links to local programmes. We also demonstrate our commitment to supporting local nature positive programmes through our own direct funding.

We also provide training of people within organisations to help them better understand risks and how to manage them, and to support the internal development of nature positive strategies and actions. We also build local capacity and use local networks to sustain skills and to support local community participation and stewardship of local nature positive programmes implemented by companies.

We develop new tools and guidance to improve approaches and to help address complex marine biodiversity issues, including guides relating to common mitigation and tools that support data and reporting. We also provide access to best practice tools and guidance developed by others.

We seek to fully support Multilateral Development Banks in the implementation of their commitments made in their Statement for Nature, People and Planet made at COP26 in Glasgow. We have specific interest in directly supporting IFIs to drive the mainstreaming of marine biodiversity and making nature positive investments, including support of nature-based solutions and blue economy programmes. Our Bluedot+ initiative provides a range of principles and approaches, and access to tools and guidance to support the development of nature positive investment strategies and to support the delivery of actions on the ground. We also provide access to a global network of researchers and groups that can help to build partnerships and collaborations.

We also provide capacity building to help IFI staff to implement safeguard standards. We also support IFIs to build the capacity of their clients and local communities and groups engaged in delivering mitigation for site operations and broader nature positive actions.

We also develop new tools and guidance that seek to help IFIs and their clients to understand complex marine biodiversity issues and how to manage them. This includes tools to support screening, rapid baseline studies, and the provision of guidance documents. For example, we have developed guidance to help organisations on how to define ecologically appropriate scales of analysis to comply with the requirements of IFC Performance Standard 6.

We also help IFIs through delivering independent marine biodiversity due diligence and monitoring compliance reviews for multi-sectoral development projects globally.

Our Bluedot+ initiative provides a range of principles and approaches, and access to tools and guidance to support governments to develop nature positive policies and plans and to support the delivery of actions on the ground. We help governments to define objectives and targets to protect and restore marine biodiversity that align with global and regional policies, frameworks, and plans. We also help to develop strategies and actions plans that align with conservation outcomes set by existing national policies and plans and to monitor the implementation of actions. As part of our work, we promote the use of systematic conservation planning and marine spatial planning tools. We also help governments to improve knowledge of baseline conditions within seascapes, including supporting data collection, using proxies, applying precaution etc.

We provide capacity building to people within governmental departments. This support includes providing access to tools and guidance that can be used by governments to communicate requirements for the protection and restoration of priority marine biodiversity features.

We also support governments by facilitating the establishment of collaborative approaches to formulate actions within seascapes. This includes making connecting with conservation groups and experts and fostering approaches that engage communities – with emphasis on driving local delivery and stewardship of actions. We also governments to report the outcomes of their policies and the actions they help to deliver.

We seek to support conservation organisations by identifying opportunities for their engagement in delivering nature positive actions on the ground. We also provide opportunity to link groups with our studies to establish knowledge sharing and collaborative approaches. We also provide tools that support data collection in the field and provide related training. We also provide direct funding of nature positive programmes that are being delivered by local conservation groups on the ground. We have also supported NGOs in their independent assessment of marine development proposals to inform their related response to proposed activities.

Sectors

We have provided advice across various types of infrastructure projects internationally, but historically have had a focus on the following sectors.

Globally, we have delivered marine biodiversity studies for container terminals, recreational harbours and off-load facilities linked to inland mining and oil and gas exploration. We have also extensively addressed issues relating to shipping. We have worked across the project development life-cycle to determine risks and to develop best practice approaches to mitigate impacts. We have also extensively acted as an independent lender’s consultant for due diligence and monitoring phases relating to the financing of projects by IFIs internationally.

We deliver net positive actions relating to site-based impacts, develop corporate biodiversity strategies, and support the implementation of broad transformative nature positive programmes. As part of this, we also help organisations to integrate and deliver marine nature-based solutions, including natural climate solutions. Our extensive work in the offshore renewable sector also allows us to support forward-thinking companies that are transitioning to low carbon technologies. For new upstream projects, we have assessed risks, and defined and implemented mitigation. We have also extensively acted as an independent lender’s consultant for due diligence and monitoring phases relating to the financing of projects by IFIs internationally.

Globally, we have undertaken studies for wind, wave, tidal and floating photovoltaic projects. We have contributed to feasibility studies, undertaken marine spatial planning and strategic assessments, and assessed and mitigated risks across the project development life-cycle. Our team has been involved in undertaking marine biodiversity studies for offshore wind farms since 1999 in the UK and helped to develop pioneering industry-wide studies to address uncertainties relating offshore wind farm impacts dating back to the early 2000s. We also support organisations to develop nature positive strategies and actions, including delivering net gains related to their site-based operations.

We have delivered marine biodiversity studies globally for a wide range of other coastal and marine infrastructure projects, including submarine telecommunication cables, pipelines, dredging and disposal, coastal hinterland development schemes (mixed use, tourism, industrial), coastal defence, airports, desalination, wastewater treatment and discharge etc. We have used our expertise to ensure that the risks to marine biodiversity for such projects are assessed across the project development life-cycle and are effectively mitigated and managed; and to undertake lender due diligence.

Ports, harbours and shipping

Globally, we have delivered marine biodiversity studies for container terminals, recreational harbours and off-load facilities linked to inland mining and oil and gas exploration. We have also extensively addressed issues relating to shipping. We have worked across the project development life-cycle to determine risks and to develop best practice approaches to mitigate impacts. We have also extensively acted as an independent lender’s consultant for due diligence and monitoring phases relating to the financing of projects by IFIs internationally.

Oil and gas

We deliver net positive actions relating to site-based impacts, develop corporate biodiversity strategies, and support the implementation of broad transformative nature positive programmes. As part of this, we also help organisations to integrate and deliver marine nature-based solutions, including natural climate solutions. Our extensive work in the offshore renewable sector also allows us to support forward-thinking companies that are transitioning to low carbon technologies. For new upstream projects, we have assessed risks, and defined and implemented mitigation. We have also extensively acted as an independent lender’s consultant for due diligence and monitoring phases relating to the financing of projects by IFIs internationally.

Marine renewable energy

Globally, we have undertaken studies for wind, wave, tidal and floating photovoltaic projects. We have contributed to feasibility studies, undertaken marine spatial planning and strategic assessments, and assessed and mitigated risks across the project development life-cycle. Our team has been involved in undertaking marine biodiversity studies for offshore wind farms since 1999 in the UK and helped to develop pioneering industry-wide studies to address uncertainties relating offshore wind farm impacts dating back to the early 2000s. We also support organisations to develop nature positive strategies and actions, including delivering net gains related to their site-based operations.

Other infrastructure development

We have delivered marine biodiversity studies globally for a wide range of other coastal and marine infrastructure projects, including submarine telecommunication cables, pipelines, dredging and disposal, coastal hinterland development schemes (mixed use, tourism, industrial), coastal defence, airports, desalination, wastewater treatment and discharge etc. We have used our expertise to ensure that the risks to marine biodiversity for such projects are assessed across the project development life-cycle and are effectively mitigated and managed; and to undertake lender due diligence.

Knowledge chain

Providing access to the best available information and expertise through connecting international experts with local knowledge and by building capacity

Good advice must be evidence-based. Our approach brings together a blend of international and local knowledge. Our specific marine biodiversity niche and access to international expertise allows us to lead studies providing the best advice. Our links with international and local researchers provides access to local information across many regions globally.

We believe that establishing broad collaborative approaches is important to provide the best advice and to support the implementation of nature positive actions. We therefore promote collaboration across consultancy, conservation, and business sectors. We also seek to respectfully use knowledge held by Indigenous People and Local Communities.

We believe that local content is important to gain the best understanding and to create opportunities for local people. To support local content, we promote engagement and help to build capacity where it is needed. We also aim to build capacity by being open with our knowledge and we freely share access to tools and guidance.

Through our approach we therefore seek to create a knowledge chain to create better outcomes for biodiversity and people.

Marine toolbox

Sharing knowledge and providing access to tools and guidance

The marine toolbox provides access to tools and guidance to help organisations to address risks to marine biodiversity and to create nature positive outcomes. The toolbox provides insights from our experience and delivers open access to resources developed by Bluedot and external groups.

What’s in the box…

Training

Building capacity to manage risks to biodiversity and provide opportunity to people

We provide capacity building to build long term local project legacies and to improve the assessment and management of coastal and marine biodiversity risks by businesses, consultants and other organisations.

Through our global capacity building we seek to build enduring project legacies. Our aim is to build capacity through training that creates a long-term legacy and support for projects in a way that connects directly with local communities, consultants, researchers and existing programmes. The aim is to provide important long-term solutions for projects and improve the protection of coastal and marine biodiversity.

We help developers, governments and other organisations by providing local training and capacity building to deliver long-term local biodiversity support to projects as a core goal in any development project. We also seek to develop local legacy through delivering capacity building of local communities for the long-term management of biodiversity – in a way that creates a connection for stewardship of local values and provides livelihood opportunities.

We seek to establish the links with our international network of researchers, institutes and existing in-country conservation and research programmes so to provide a framework for long term support and to sustain skills.

The aim is to reduce dependency on international experts and creates a greater sense of project ownership on the ground.

We also build the capacity of local developers so that they seek to better manage their risks to biodiversity in line with international best practice approaches.

As discussed for Rapid Data in the Developer Toolbox we create tools to support the implementation of research for inexperienced people. The use of such tools builds knowledge and interest in learning as well as supporting the collection of data.

We also provide marine survey courses at all levels with the specific aim of supporting local research on the ground.

We draw on 20+ years’ of experience of delivering international studies to deliver capacity building internationally. We have delivered training for practitioners and decision-makers to support the mainstreaming of biodiversity in assessment and decision-making processes. Our training approaches involve lectures, workshops, on-the-job mentoring, case study demonstration etc. Our approaches are tailored to specific needs.

We deliver training for all levels of knowledge related to coastal and marine biodiversity, including for government, developers, International Finance Institutions and local consultants and researchers. Our aim is to build capacity to mainstream biodiversity effectively in decision-making and management of infrastructure projects using best practice approaches. We deliver training using our international network of leading biodiversity experts and safeguard practitioners. Areas that we address include project screening, managing data paucity and uncertainties, implementing the Mitigation Hierarchy, field research, best practice guidance for commonly encountered issues, implementing biodiversity safeguard standards (World Bank ESS6, IFC PS6, EBRD PR6, AfDB OS-3 etc).

IAIA Special Symposium “Using the Mitigation Hierarchy to Mainstream Biodiversity in Impact Assessment” in Washington, DC, November 16, 2017: see https://conferences.iaia.org/wdc2017/tc-01.php. In collaboration with the Biodiversity Consultancy we delivered a post-symposium one-day training course that focused on the practical application of the mitigation hierarchy in impact assessment for projects.

Our Managing Director, Neil Cousins, is a visiting lecturer at three major UK Universities for undergraduate and postgraduate environmental assessment and conservation modules giving students an insight into approaches within industry for these themes.

Consultancy lighthouse

Most projects are successful if they have a positive environmental lead and some aligned long term connectivity with local communities. We seek to engage in a way that is conscious of our responsibility as advisors for projects that often lead to changes to the environment, which has an effect on the people that live within or gain some benefit from these areas. In our approach we hope to act as a consultancy lighthouse.”

Neil CousinsBluedot Founder

As part of our approach we allocate 10% of our overall company profits to supporting nature positive programmes.

The projects we’ve funded so far…

Provision of coronavirus crisis conservation funding to Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, to support their sea turtle protection and community engagement activities.

Helping to fund community conservation officers to deliver sea turtle nesting monitoring in Tanzania via Sea Sense a local NGO. Our funds will provide training, transportation and livelihood support for local community members.

In support of Sea Turtle Watch (STW), Liberia, we have provided funds for the creation of a safe drinking water supply to the population of the Samuel Brown Town, in return for their support to sea turtle conservation in the area.

The Ghana Research and Education Alliance for Turtles (GREAT), in collaboration with the Ghana Wildlife Division, promote sea turtle conservation in the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Site (MPRS) in central Ghana. The aim is to engage local fishing communities in the protection of sea turtles. As part of the local effort already being undertaken we have fully funded the development of a Community Centre, which acts as a hub for trade, socialising, education and health care.

In support of Program Tatô we have provided some funds to buy equipment and raw materials for 17 women traders to create handicraft products for sale at tourism points as an alternative to the trade of sea turtle derived goods.

Coronavirus crisis conservation funding of Archelon in Greece
Improving Safe Drinking Water in Samuel Brown Town, Liberia
Developing a Community Centre in the Mankoadze community in central Ghana
Supporting Program Tatô to deliver sea turtle conservation in São Tome
Supporting Program Tatô to deliver sea turtle conservation in São Tome

Contact us

Bluedot Associates Ltd
12 Whiteladies Road
Clifton
Bristol
BS8 1PD
UK

T: (+44) (0)117 230 1205
M: (+44) (0)7815322804

Bluedot Associates