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The GDI Board is international and includes representatives from governments, the private
sector and NGOs. Its role is to set the overall direction of the Initiative and the review its
work programmes. These work programmes include potential and current GDI pilot projects
as well as the creation and development of the certification modalities. The first Board
meeting took place on the 27th May 2011.

Advisory Group
The GDI Advisory Group was set up in April 2011. Currently the Advisory is made
up of 27 members, all of which are experienced in the domain of sustainability,
biodiversity, finance and business. The group uses their expertise to advise and
council the GDI Secretariat on the development of work programmes and
certification modalities.

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Secretariat
Earthmind serves as the Secretariat for the Initiative. Work is undertaken by a team of
professional consultants and junior associates. Core funding comes from the Biodiversity
Policy Programme of the Government of the Netherlands.

Phase I: GDM 2010 Initiative
The GDM 2010 Initiative began in 2009 with aim of bringing forward a discussion on a new
financial mechanism for biodiversity at the 10th Conference of the Parties of the (COP
10). The Conference took place in October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. The aim of the Initiative
was to explore the possibility of establishing a mechanism which would be voluntary,
transparent and accountable so as to secure additional financial resources from the
private sector for biodiversity.

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Phase II: Green Development Initiative
Following the consultations leading up to CBD COP10 in October 2010, a new phase
was launched to develop and text a promising modalities for a green development
mecha-nism. The focus of the Green Development Initiative (GDI) is to establish a
biodiversity standard and certification scheme for land management which will
facilitate financial support for conservation and development action on the
ground.
In many ways the GDI shares the same ethos as UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative
(GEI), which is “a project designed to communi-cate that the greening of
economies is not a burden on growth but rather a new engine for growth,
employment, and the reduction of persistent global poverty.” In this respect, the
GDI is aiming to certify positive biodiversity outcomes in terms of conservation and
development for geographically-defined areas.

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Importantly, the GDI is not envisioned as a compliance mechanism to offset
environ-mental impacts, but rather as a verification mechanism to recognise good
environmental performance. It seeks to allow companies and other organisations
to responsibly manage their own land by satisfying relevant biodiver-sity
performance indicators and also to support the efforts of others to implement
biodiversity management plans for their lands.
In 2011, the GDI is developing its standard and certification scheme through a
number of pilot projects representing a diversity of landscapes and land uses.
These in include responsible soy farming in Brazil, cocoa and timber production in
Ghana, and community based natural resource management in Namibia.

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The GDI Biodiversity Standard
The GDI Biodiversity Standard is aimed at the management of geographicallydefined locations. Its foundations are derived from the objectives and definitions
of the CBD. The Biodiversity Standard aims to offer an all-encompassing standard
for biodiversity management which is suitable for any geographical area in
locations all over the globe. It focuses on four core components of biodiversity:
landscapes, ecosystems, species and habitats, and biological resources. The actions
to be undertaken in a biodiversity management need to address four objectives:
conservation of biodiversity; sustainable use of biological resources; equitable
sharing of the benefits arising out of this use; and economic and social
development.

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