Biodiversity Pulse Weekly: Friday December 9, 2022

Published 02:35 on December 9, 2022  /  Last updated at 02:35 on December 9, 2022  /  Biodiversity, Newsletters  /  No Comments

A weekly summary of our biodiversity news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. All articles in this edition are free to read (no subscription required).

Presenting the inaugural issue of Biodiversity Pulse Weekly, Carbon Pulse’s free newsletter on the biodiversity market. It’s a weekly summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. Subscribe here

All articles in this edition are free to read (no subscription required).

COP15

COP15 opens with heavily bracketed text, long road ahead for new agreement

The UN’s biodiversity negotiations opened in Montreal on Tuesday, with high-level statements noting the significant challenges that lie ahead in forging a new global framework to halt and reverse the alarming rate of nature loss, as global delegates brace for intense negotiations over a currently heavily bracketed text.

COP15: 30×30 unlikely to be achieved without agreement to address drivers of degradation -experts

While an agreement by global governments to protect 30% of the world’s land and sea area by 2030 would likely dub the Montreal negotiations a success, more is needed on how to address the drivers of biodiversity degradation, say experts, or risk condemning targets to empty promises.

Canada pledges C$350 mln in international biodiversity funding as COP15 gets off ground

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed C$350 million ($256.4 mln) in funding for biodiversity conservation efforts in developing nations as he officially opened COP15 in Montreal Tuesday, though green groups say the amount falls well short of what Canada should contribute.

MARKET

Consultants lay out draft basics for a global voluntary biodiversity credit market

A global biodiversity credit market could be based around a framework for determining biodiversity carrying capacity (BCC) and rules for who is able to trade various credit types, according to Paris-based consultants Carbone 4.

UNDP, IIED back carefully designed biodiversity market to unlock finance

Biodiversity credits could help break the nature finance logjam if they can avoid some of the pitfalls that have left carbon offsets open to greenwashing accusations, according to a new study by the UNDP and UK-based think-tank IIED.

EU green finance group warns against monetising nature

The push for a ‘nature positive economy’ through initiatives such as biodiversity credit trading risks is doomed to be an environmental failure and should be stopped, according to an EU-based green finance group.

FINANCE

Australia’s total biodiversity finance market could hit $94 bln by 2050, report finds

Total spending on biodiversity in Australia could rise rapidly to A$137 billion ($94 bln) by mid-century, carrying with it significant risks and opportunities for major industries such as construction, mining, and tourism, a report from consultants PwC has found.

Nature-based markets are worth $10 trillion per year, study finds

The Taskforce on Nature Markets, supported by consultancy McKinsey’s Vivid Economics, released Wednesday a report that outlines how the world could utilise nature markets to curb biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, valuing multiple established and nascent markets at almost $10 trillion per year in total.

Companies largely clueless about their impact on nature

Fewer than 5% of global companies have assessed the impact they have on nature and fewer than 1% understand how their businesses depend on natural ecosystem services, according to a survey published this week.

Salesforce props up nature, climate groups with $4 mln in spending

Customer relationship management firm Salesforce on Wednesday announced a total $4 million in nature-related grants and accelerator funding for nine companies and organisation.

POLICY

Australia to overhaul environment, biodiversity legislation after devastating review

Australia on Thursday announced it plans far-reaching reforms to its environmental and biodiversity protection laws in response to a recent independent review that concluded the nation’s nature is being destroyed.

Scientists urge protection of forests from bioenergy use

Over 650 scientists have signed a letter urging world leaders to stop using forests for bioenergy ahead of the upcoming UN COP15 summit on biodiversity in Montreal.

ICYM

FEATURE: Where’s the biodiversity market at and where is it headed?

Businesses and conservation groups are increasingly talking about a voluntary biodiversity credit market as a potentially significant future source of nature protection funding, and while the market itself is barely even taking baby steps at the moment, a number of processes are ongoing whose outcome will help determine whether the approach will succeed or not.

COP15 PREVIEW: World eyes historic deal for nature, but money trouble looms

Negotiators from nearly 200 nations descend on Montreal next week for the COP15 UN biodiversity summit eyeing a landmark agreement to protect and restore nature, but behind the headline targets lurk concerns over who pays and how to translate global ambition into national targets and action plans.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Cut it out, not down – In Australia, the Queensland Conservation Council has accused the local beef industry of destroying the habitats of 388 nationally threatened species and 14 threatened ecological communities, estimating that 78% of deforestation of endangered ecosystems in Australia between 2014-19 was for beef pastures. That comes just a week after another green group, the Australian Conservation Foundation, had claimed the industry had cleared over 400,000 ha of threatened species habitats without approval from the national regulator. Agforce, the state farm organisation, has refuted the claims, writes Beef Central.

Scientists at your service – A group of scientists in Australia have joined together to launch the Biodiversity Council, modelled after the existing Climate Council, which provides information to the public about the climate crisis. The new body will be based at the University of Melbourne and headed up by Brendan Wintle, a professor in conservation sciences, according to the Guardian. The Council plans to be a strong and trusted voice for biodiversity, backed by science as well as First People’s knowledge.

Funding fish – The Asian Development Bank has approved a $73 mln financing package aimed at improving climate resilience and the sustainability of coastal and marine fisheries in Cambodia, it announced Thursday. The package includes a $41 mln loan from the ADB, a $22 mln grant from the bank’s Asian Development Fund, and a $10 mln loan from the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund. In addition comes $20 mln in co-financing from the French Development Agency, to be administered by the ADB. Fisheries account for 8-10% of Cambodia’s GDP, but stocks have declined substantially in recent years due to climate change and overfishing. The funding package will seek to reverse that trend across four coastal provinces – Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong, and Preah Sihanouk, hoping to regenerate around 40% of nearshore fisheries into more sustainable and productive enterprises.

Protecting fish – The European Commission on Thursday adopted measures that will see six marine Natura 2000 sites and two national marine protected areas in German and the Netherlands enjoy strengthened protection. In a note the Commission said the new measures will protect sensitive seabed habitats, such as sandbanks and reefs, from the impact of mobile bottom contacting gears. It will also provide protection for harbour porpoises and six seabird species vulnerable to bycatch in gillnets and entangling nets.

Branching out – BNP Paribas Asset Management has announced buying a majority stake in Copenhagen-based International Woodland Company, a natural resources specialist firm investing in sustainable timberland, agriculture, and ecosystem services, including nature-based carbon credits and conservation projects. The purchase is part of BNP Paribas’ strategy to expand its sustainable investment offering and broaden its private markets investment platform, it said.

Eyes on nature – Denmark’s Danske Bank and Danica Pension have pledged to engage 30 large, global companies with a major impact on oceans and forests in a focused dialogue on biodiversity in the period to 2025. The move comes after they conducted a survey of 99 Nordic companies, finding that 71% of them are exposed to biodiversity risk, but only 15% of them had set a target for limiting their impact on nature or defined how they plan to contribute to restoring biodiversity.

Under the 30×30 hood – Industry group the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) released a report this week highlighting the benefits of sustainable logging practices in the context of Canada’s biodiversity and climate commitments. The report outlines the distinct differences in Canadian forests that are designated as “managed” versus “unmanaged,” where the former, they argue, are open to logging but are subject to benefits practices such as fire and bug suppression with important biodiversity and carbon benefits. Harvested wood also stores carbon within finished products, such as housing beams and furniture, they point out. “When it comes to meeting international and national biodiversity targets, our sustainably managed forests have the potential to contribute to the objective of conserving 30% of our terrestrial areas by 2030. This will mainly come by establishing Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas and through Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures,” the report said, noting that these are different than creating national parks or nature reserves.

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