Nature & biodiversity

Creating a nature positive future

The natural world provides the air we breathe, the water we drink and the essential resources and services that enable our societies and economies to thrive. So when nature is under threat, it has an impact on all of us. 

Right now, our natural world is declining at an unprecedented rate. The Middle East’s unique geographic location and arid climate conditions make it vulnerable to rising temperatures and water shortages, hence the impacts of this decline are real - increased rates of desertification and habitat degradation, loss of arable land, the threat of multi-year droughts, frequent sandstorms and rising temperatures put the region’s 300 million people, and its natural environment, at growing risk.

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The region supports some of the most vulnerable and endangered species on the planet, hosting close to 100 critically endangered species, such as the Sand Tiger shark, the Hawksbill turtle and the Rüppell's vulture, and more than 600 endemic species, including the Dragon's Blood tree and Softcoral seahorse. Nature also brings strong socio-economic and cultural linkages, with agriculture, pastoralism and herding, and fisheries deeply rooted in the region’s heritage. 

Businesses face new risks from nature loss and must respond to emerging regulatory, consumer and investor pressures. By putting nature-positive strategies in place and integrating them into their plans, business leaders can harness new opportunities that create sustainable outcomes for all.

Our passionate community of solvers is working together with businesses and governments to transition to a nature-positive future.


US$1 tn 45% the region’s GDP is highly or moderately dependent on nature

Nature Risk Rising, WEF-PwC

34% Decline in region’s wildlife populations from 1970 to 2010


40% of GCC coastline modified, resulting in significant loss of biodiversity


Centre for Nature Positive Business

PwC's global Centre for Nature Positive Business unites more than 500 nature specialists across our network. Bringing together knowledge in biodiversity, water, forestry, regenerative agriculture and geospatial analysis, the Centre is accelerating the global transition to a nature-positive and net-zero future.

In the region, the Centre will:

  • Catalyse collaboration among public, private and civil society organisations to create new communities of solvers in the fight to halt and reverse nature loss
  • Support government entities and agencies in enacting the needed strategies, policies and plans to conserve nature and biodiversity
  • Empower business leaders to play their part, by helping regional organisations transition to nature-positive business models
  • Help drive the development of frameworks, standards, and methodologies that provide the architecture necessary for rapid system-wide change
  • Upskill our people to build nature-positive, sustainable outcomes into project delivery
  • Contribute to and build trust in the diverse global factbase that underpins the nature-action agenda.


Key imperatives for a nature-positive future

Enact enabling strategies, policies and regulations

Define an aspirational vision and a roadmap to realise it.

Governments need to implement dedicated action plans to halt and reverse the loss of critical habitats and species, enhance water management practices and conserve vital freshwater, and mainstream sustainability and conservation in key social and economic activities. New enabling strategy, policy and regulatory tools are required to achieve a nature-positive future.

Drive excellence in environmental management

Establish protected areas, strengthen protection and compliance.

Governments worldwide, including those in the region, are striving to reach the 30x30 target1- to protect 30% of their lands, oceans and inland waters by 2030. Efforts along this objective should double down and be coupled with effective enforcement and compliance practices to curb illegal hunting and habitat degradation.

Understand your interface with nature

Invest in nature-based solutions

Harness the power of nature to address societal and environmental challenges.

Invest in nature-based solutions for both biodiversity and human well-being. This includes reforestation and afforestation initiatives, ecosystem restoration projects, and the integration of nature-based infrastructure solutions like green roofs and wetlands.

Develop a nature strategy

Catalyse nature tech

Leverage innovative technologies to better our environment.

Nature tech aims to harness the power of technology to better understand, protect and sustainably manage our natural resources and ecosystems. Governments should drive innovation in, and adoption of, nature tech, covering remote sensing and conservation, drones for wildlife and habitat monitoring, the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and predictive modelling.

Communicate your efforts

Prioritise environmental education and awareness

Promote a greater understanding of nature and its value.

Governments should prioritise environmental education and public awareness campaigns to foster a greater understanding of the value of nature and the importance of its protection. This fosters a sense of stewardship and enables more informed and responsible individual choices and behaviours.

Understand your interface with nature

Four ways to embed nature in your business model

Where to start?

Many organisations may be further along the path to becoming nature positive than they think. We can help you understand what nature means for your business, why it matters and how you can start your nature-positive journey.

What are your impacts, dependencies and risks?

Understanding and managing your business’s location-based impacts and dependencies on nature is an essential starting point to ensure its long-term sustainability and to manage risk. We can help you understand your interface with nature, the risks and opportunities it poses to your business, and how to monitor your progress.

Turning insights into action

Once you understand your business’s interface with nature, you must translate that information into a clear vision and mission with robust transition plans, goals and targets that integrate with existing sustainability and corporate strategies. We can help you develop bespoke plans to transition towards a nature positive future.

Nature reporting, regulation and transparency

Transparency in measuring and reporting nature-related impacts, risks and transformation is an essential component to attract and retain investment as well as to adhere to regulation and manage reputation. The Centre for Nature Positive Business works with organisations to fully understand their interface with nature and to report their impact, targets and strategies in line with best practice and regulation.

How we are delivering nature-positive outcomes

Supporting a leading regional real estate company in developing the concept for a nature-positive mixed-use development.

The context: With the rapid expansion of urban areas worldwide, significant risks arise for biodiversity due to habitat loss and the adverse effects on air and water quality. Urban development further contributes to an inequitable utilisation and wastage of natural resources, particularly water, while also exacerbating climate change through greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Recent occurrences of natural disasters, such as the Australian Black Summer of 2019-2020, illustrate the direct correlation between climate change and the depletion of natural environments. Given the urgency of the matter, a prominent GCC developer sought to assume a leading role in showcasing the feasibility of nature-positive urban development.

Our approach: To embark on this endeavor, a Strategy& team engaged in the project commenced by comprehensively assessing the existing biodiversity within the area. Their primary focus was on designing the entire community in a manner that safeguards and fosters natural capital. The development's blueprint emphasised the optimisation of critical natural resources, including water, and sought to minimise waste generation. Sustainable building practices were employed, incorporating eco-friendly materials with longer life cycles. Furthermore, energy systems were designed to rely on renewable sources like solar power, thereby mitigating GHG emissions. The industrial component of the development adhered to principles of industrial symbiosis, enabling waste recycling and reuse.

How we delivered: The team conducted extensive analyses to ensure that the development not only harmonised with nature but also aligned with the client's financial viability objectives. Evaluating the impact on other crucial aspects such as human health and economic growth, they strived to create a concept that truly differentiated itself and struck a balance among all considerations while achieving the goal of being nature positive.

Supporting on the establishment of a large protected area established to restore and conserve iconic Arabian Peninsula species.

The context: Diverse and scenic landscapes with mountains, valleys, craters, and a vast desert were once roamed by iconic Arabian Peninsula species such as Gazelles and Nubian Ibexes. Yet, due to urban expansion, habitat loss and illegal hunting, much of these species were lost over the last decade. In response, a pivotal effort was launched to designate vast stretches of land, encompassing tens of thousands of kilometers, as a protected area, with the aim of restoring what was lost and safeguarding what still remains.

The area holds significant ecological and cultural value. Despite suffering from degradation, it remains an important stopover for migratory birds, and includes several Important Bird Areas. It is also home to a variety of mammal species such as the Red fox and the Golden jackal. Moreover, this region boasts a rich heritage, with hundreds of rock art sites and monuments dating back to the Neolithic and Nabatean eras. It is a place where a warm and welcoming community thrives, cherishing a vibrant culture that encompasses poetry, cuisine, crafts, and cultural festivals.

Our approach: Strategy& was tasked with developing a strategy for the reserve that restores and conserves the ecological value, while capitalising on and preserving the cultural heritage and enabling sustainable economic growth. Core to this effort was the development of concepts for ecotourism destinations that help connect once again people with nature. 

How we delivered: Strategy& not only developed the strategy, but also supported in activating the reserve. This involved the development of an effective management plan, engagement strategies for stakeholders and the local community, and ensuring the successful realisation of the project's goals.

Setting an environment and biodiversity conservation vision and strategy. 

The context: The environment that surrounds us is inextricably linked with the future of humankind, and yet it is facing ever-increasing pressures, resulting from a variety of factors that include population growth and a global middle-class expansion. In this context, environmental protection has become a non-negotiable imperative, with one of the Gulf Emirates aiming to pioneer the cause.

To enable this ambitious goal, Strategy& supported the regional Environment Agency in developing a 2030 Environment Vision, and consecutive five-year strategies to achieve it.

Our approach: A Strategy& team began by baselining the environmental state, the pressures that shape it, and its impact on local population and ecosystems. The study covered all elements of the region’s environment, from groundwater to air, and from soil to wildlife, with additional focus on the impacts of climate change and the environment’s interlinkages with the waste sector.

The team then identified best practices from globally-leading environment protection entities, and further enhanced them through ideation sessions with the Agency’s experts and global thought-shapers.

How we delivered: After defining the vision and cascading it into tangible ambitious targets, the team supported the agency in developing robust five-year strategies to achieve the vision. Each strategy defined and detailed the comprehensive set of objectives and initiatives required to succeed, and provided a clear implementation blueprint.

Supporting a new environmental services company in disrupting the way environmental services are provided to contribute to the protection and promotion of nature.

The context: The provision of environmental services, including environmental assessments, ongoing monitoring, and nature-positive strategies, plays a crucial role in evaluating and mitigating human impacts on the natural world. However, the current monitoring and assessment processes are flawed, either demanding substantial resources (such as manual patrolling of vast land areas) or lacking the necessary data and insights (such as periodic sampling or surveys for biodiversity assessments). With the advent of an ambitious giga development project in the GCC that aimed to prioritise nature protection and promotion, a new environmental services company was established to redefine the delivery of services to a diverse customer base.

Our approach: To formulate the strategy for this company, a Strategy& team conducted an extensive assessment of the geographical context in which it would operate. They performed a comprehensive analysis of the demand for environmental services essential for achieving nature-positive outcomes, which guided the selection of a portfolio of services for the new company. Subsequently, the team explored disruptive approaches to deliver these services, leveraging ground-breaking technologies and establishing technical innovation as core pillars. They also determined the optimal delivery model for the services.

How we delivered: It was crucial to differentiate the company from potential competitors to ensure its long-term success. The overarching strategy focused on being a comprehensive and disruptive service provider within its primary geography. Furthermore, the company aimed to possess unique capabilities, such as the ability to develop net-positive strategies, enabling global expansion and future leadership. The company was positioned as a critical enabler in fulfilling the development's ambitious goals of nature and environmental protection.

Managing nature risks: From understanding to action

Read PwC's analysis of the nature risk that organisations could be facing. Business relies heavily on nature to supply much-needed goods and services. Recognizing those dependencies is the first step toward managing the risks and opportunities they create.

Read the article

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Dr. Yahya Anouti

Dr. Yahya Anouti

Partner and Sustainability Leader, Strategy& Middle East

Samer Al Chikhani

Samer Al Chikhani

Partner, Strategy& Middle East

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