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Conservation Updates

Spearheading Biodiversity Credits

Biodiversity plays a crucial role in enhancing ecosystem resilience, ensuring that ecosystems can continue to provide essential services and adapt to changes and disturbances over time. Different species perform various ecological roles or functions within an ecosystem. High biodiversity ensures a range of functional traits contributing to ecosystem processes like nutrient cycling, pollination, seed dispersal, and soil formation. This array of functions builds stable ecosystems, which are resilient to disturbances, including climate change.

At the species level, genetic diversity helps populations survive diseases, pests, and climate variations, thereby enhancing the overall resilience of the ecosystem.

Protecting biodiversity is not only crucial for ecological health but also for sustaining economic and financial well-being globally. Natural places hold cultural significance for indigenous people and local communities (IPLCs), offering medicinal plants and traditional foods.

Approximately 17% of the world’s land area is under some form of protection and IPLCs manage about 80% of the world’s biodiversity. In light of the global biodiversity crisis, the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) set the target to protect and conserve at least 30% of the world’s terrestrial and inland water areas by 2030, with an emphasis on equitable and inclusive governance and support to the conservation efforts of IPLCs. However, experts estimate the financial gap to meet the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) is several hundreds of billions of dollars per year. To bridge this gap, significant efforts are required from both public and private sectors to invest in nature-based solutions.

In 2023, Verra sought projects to pilot the still-under-development Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) Nature Framework to generate biodiversity credits that would contribute to closing the financial gap.

Out of 179 applications received, Verra selected a cohort of 31 pilot projects representing a diversity of biomes, ecoregions, land uses, and activity types.

BCP’s Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project is one of the pilot projects!

The pilot’s goal is to test and refine the applicability and integrity of Verra’s biodiversity methodology. This new methodology will enable the independent assessment and verification of the real-world biodiversity benefits and certification of nature-positive investments. Project developers will use the methodology to quantify the biodiversity benefits of their conservation and restoration activities.

Once a project has been verified using SD VISta’s world-leading systems, companies can purchase the resulting biodiversity credits to invest in biodiversity and progress their nature-positive commitments.

We are working towards the first issuance of BCP’s Biodiversity Credits at the end of 2025 …. and we can’t wait!

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Charles-Albert Petre, PhD

Carbon Specialist - Biodiversity

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