A global mapping template for natural and modified habitat across terrestrial Earth

The IPBES Global Assessment proposed five key interventions to tackle the drivers of nature deterioration. One of these proposals was to take pre-emptive and precautionary actions in regulatory and management institutions and businesses. Performance standards are tools that can be used to help achieve these interventions. The most influential standard is Performance Standard 6 (PS6) of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group. Institutions like the IFC invest in the private sector in developing countries, including in the infrastructure, agribusiness, forestry, oil, gas and mining sectors, all of which have the potential to cause large environmental impacts. A core element of PS6 outlines the need for the consideration of “natural and modified habitat” within investment screening processes. Here we use freely available data layers in combination to develop a new global layer that identifies natural and modified habitat. It is aligned with the IFC PS6 definitions of natural and modified habitat. However, we propose this layer as an output that can be used beyond the IFC and could be integrated into the investment decision making of global and regional banks, or the decision making of international corporations.