Marine toolbox

Guidance for defining ecologically appropriate scales of analysis for marine biodiversity in relation to IFC Performance Standard 6

“The scale of resolution chosen by ecologists is perhaps the most important decision in the research program, because it largely predetermines the questions, procedures, the observations, and the results…” (Dayton & Tegner, 1984).

Environmental and Social Safeguard Standards that are produced by International Finance Institutions (IFIs) provide an international best practice framework for the assessment of private and public sector development projects. As part of a suite of requirements, safeguard standards have been developed for the protection of biodiversity. A fundamental component to meeting the requirements within the standards relates to the need to define ecologically appropriate scales of study and analysis. Whilst the standards provide a comprehensive steer on the need for biodiversity analysis at an ecologically appropriate scale that extends beyond a project site and it’s AoI, no detailed guidance is provided on how such areas may be defined, especially for the marine environment. To support the development of approaches for marine biodiversity we have therefore developed a guidance document. The focus of this guidance document is on addressing the requirements of IFC Performance Standard 6 (PS 6) within the IFC framework. PS 6 sets out a framework for ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources’. As the standards across IFIs are in general alignment, the guidance document will support assessments across all standards that have been developed for biodiversity under the different safeguard frameworks.

The guidance document is available free to download as a pdf by clicking the image below.