BIODIVERSITY REPORTING IN INDIA: A VIEW FROM THE TOP

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Mansi Mansi, Rakesh Pandey, Carolyn Stringer

DOI:10.22495/cocv12i1c4p5

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the biodiversity reporting practices inside Indian companies. Biodiversity reporting studies across Indian companies are important because India has a wealth of biodiversity assets, that is, wildlife, flora, fauna, natural habitats, rare and endangered species and biological resources, and accounts for 7.8% of the global recorded species (Biological Diversity Act, the Biodiversity Rules, Andhra Pradesh Biodiversity Board, 2009). There are approximately 45,500 species of plants, 91,200 species of animals and 5,550 microbial species documented in India (National Biodiversity Authority, 2014). The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed 132 species of animals and plants in the Critically Endangered Category (Sudhi, 2012). To date, the literature omits to explore the biodiversity reporting practices inside Indian companies. Another important reason to conduct is this study is that India has alarming population levels; thus there is a huge demand for land, energy, and resources, which leads to massive biodiversity loss, deforestation, and habitat destruction. It is very likely that with the limited land mass and increasing population in India, several ecosystems, wildlife, flora and fauna will be/have been exploited, disturbed, and endangered. Given the high potential impact on biodiversity by industries, we are concerned that there is a dearth of biodiversity reporting studies within the Indian subcontinent. We concentrate on the largest companies (based on market capitalisation) because similar to Van Liempd and Busch (2013), we also expect that the largest companies have the greatest impact on biodiversity; therefore, they are expected to show more accountability to their stakeholders. Therefore it is worth exploring how Indian companies are engaging in biodiversity reporting practices (e.g. biodiversity conservation, biodiversity protection, habitat and ecosystem conservation); and whether these organisations are disclosing their impact(s) (both in quantity and quality) on biodiversity (such as wildlife, flora and fauna). Moreover, India has also been classified as one of 17 mega-diversity countries by The World Conservation Monitoring Centre which account for more than 70% of the planet’s species (Williams, 2001). All these reasons make this study timely and important.

Keywords: Biodiversity Reporting, Market Capitalisation, Ecosystems

How to cite this paper: Mansi, M., Pandey, R., & Stringer,C. (2014). Biodiversity reporting in India: a view from the top. Corporate Ownership & Control, 12(1-4), 418-427. http://doi.org/10.22495/cocv12i1c4p5