Business and Biodiversity

Independent Scientific and Technical Advisory Panels

Independent Scientific and Technical Advisory Panels (ISTAPs) are a valuable tool for delivering technical advice, particularly when addressing controversial conservation and development issues.

For more than a decade, IUCN has developed and refined the ISTAP model to provide companies and other stakeholders with objective, credible and robust technical advice. While an ISTAP approach demands an objective perspective, it also links independent scientists, the private sector, governments, financial institutions and NGOs in helping find solutions to challenging issues.

ISTAPs are established with the formal designation of a group of experts, who engage in a set of pre-defined activities to provide scientific and/or technical advice on a specific biodiversity conservation or natural resource management issue. Typically, the recipient of the advice is one or more business entities or public authorities.

The benefits of the ISTAP approach are many, and range from fostering a deeper understanding of the issues among the stakeholders to the successful adoption of new biodiversity measures and practices.

Examples of IUCN-led Panels include:

IUCN Rio Doce Panel - from 2017 to present.

IUCN Niger Delta Panel - from 2012-2016

Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel - from 2004 to present.

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