Presenting 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
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With momentum building behind biodiversity crediting following a string of announcements at COP15 in December, market experts have highlighted the lessons to learn from carbon, their close links and key differences, and why there is no time to waste in devising the framework to scale the nascent nature-based market.
Australia has published draft legislation for its planned voluntary biodiversity market, with the main elements unchanged since the initial draft was released in August, ignoring warnings that the scheme as designed is likely to be a commercial failure.
ANALYSIS: Government must lead investment in Australia’s nature repair market if it wants it to succeed, experts say
As the Australian government seeks input on its draft legislation for its nature repair market, policy watchers warn that its so-called Green Wall Street will crash if it doesn’t lead investment in the market.
INTERVIEW: Carbon credit review raises questions about avoided deforestation in Australia’s biodiversity market
A government-commissioned review of Australia’s carbon credit system published this week recommended ditching the nation’s avoided deforestation methodology over baseline issues, a move that could create challenges for such projects in finding a place in the country’s emerging biodiversity market.
Four organisations in the UK and Peru have partnered with the aim to facilitate one or more pilot biodiversity stewardship credit (BCS) transactions in a bid to create a model for future growth of a biodiversity market.
Non-profit Inevitable Policy Response (IPR) has released a first integrated climate and nature policy scenario for investors, predicting that on top of nature-based carbon projects a biodiversity credit market is set to emerge that could we worth $18-43 billion by mid-century.
The European Commission has launched a call for innovative biodiversity projects to receive grants worth almost €200 million as part of a 2023 programme.
An Indonesia-based investment firm that will help drive investments and provide strategic advice on early-stage nature-based businesses in Southeast Asia is having its soft launch this month.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has picked four project proposals across Latin America and the Caribbean for an initiative seeking to find innovative ways to use digital assets to promote biodiversity conservation and climate change action.
A series of reports have found Australian forests are continuing to be cleared at globally significant levels, to the point where some could become net carbon emitters in the coming decades in the face of the ever-increasing impacts of climate change while putting domestic biodiversity under pressure.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Risky business – This is the year of “polycrisis” where risks become more interdependent and reciprocally damaging, the World Economic Forum said in its annual risk report published Wednesday ahead of the think-tank’s annual Davos talks that predicted climate change and biodiversity risks will dominate the challenges over the next decade. (Carbon Pulse)
Under the bridge – The Biden administration has finalised regulations to protect hundreds of thousands of streams, wetlands, and other waterways, repealing a Trump-era rule federal courts threw out and environmentalists said left waterways vulnerable to pollution. The rule defines which “waters of the United States” are protected by the Clean Water Act. For decades, the term has been a flashpoint between environmental groups that want to broaden limits on pollution and farmers, builders, and industry groups that say extending regulations too far is onerous for business. (Guardian)
Getting involved – German index engineering firm Solactive, bank Societe Generale, and Iceberg Data Lab have developed a range of biodiversity screened index strategies allowing investors to consider the impact of companies on biodiversity into their investments, namely the Solactive Transatlantic Biodiversity Screened 100 RW Index, the Solactive Transatlantic Biodiversity Screened 150 CW Index, and the Solactive Transatlantic Biodiversity Screened Index. The indices are licensed to Societe Generale for the issuance of structured products, reports etf express.
Tough going – Western Australia’s head of national parks management says it would be difficult for the state to conserve 30% of its lands by 2030, despite the state endorsing an international target for Australia to do so. At a meeting of the nation’s environment ministers in October, WA endorsed a national target that would ensure 30% of Australia’s land and marine areas were protected by the end of the decade. But WA does not have a policy on how much land and sea it will contribute to help Australia meet its target. (ABC)
Worries – India signed up to the Kunming-Montreal Agreement, but even so the government has been harbouring plans to amend the domestic Biological Diversity Act in a way that may dilute the institutional structure and checks contained within it, reports the Leaflet. An amendment to the 2002 Act, submitted to parliament in 2021 and sent to a joint parliamentary committee soon after, has provisions that exempt followers of AYUSH – medical systems that are being practiced in India – from some of the provisions of the Act, raising concerns that the motive behind the amendment might be to increase the ease of doing business rather than strengthening the existing nature protection regime.
Bad diamonds – The environmental watchdog Journalists for the Protection of Nature (JPN-Lib) has called on the EU, US government, and international business institutions not to purchase natural minerals from the Youssuf Diamond Mining Company (YDMC) extracted from the Gola Forest National Park in Liberia, according to Front Page Africa. JPN-Lib said in a statement the operations of the YDMC in the Gola Forest National Park borders on environmental crimes, and doing business with them is a blatant violation of the Wildlife Conservation Laws of Liberia and other international protocols on protected conservation areas.
Saved – One of the most threatened populations of Irrawaddy dolphins in Asia is set to get a much-needed reprieve as officials in Indonesia roll out a ban on unsustainable fishing gear in a key stretch of river. The Bornean population of the species, Orcaella brevirostris, is found in the Mahakam River, of which an upstream watershed spanning 42,668 ha was in August declared a conservation area by the fisheries ministry. This new designation will severely limit shipping traffic in this stretch of water, but will allow fishing to some degree. To that end, the ministry is working with conservationists to draw up a management plan that will allow sustainable fishing while prohibiting unsustainable and destructive practices that have been identified as a threat to the dolphins and other species, Mongabay reports.
Some cash – The Nordic Development Fund has announced it will contribute €8.5 mln to the Asian Development Bank-managed Ocean Resilience and Coastal Adaptation Trust Fund (ORCA). The world’s oceans and coastal areas are extremely vulnerable to climate change and natural hazards, with an immediate impact on the health of marine and coastal ecosystems, livelihoods, and economic growth or the blue economy. In the Asia-Pacific region, the rising sea level is expected to create challenges to new and existing critical infrastructures, the fund explained. The Global Environment Facility and the UK are among other contributors to the fund.
Squeezing the bad guys – As part of its 2030 biodiversity strategy, Vietnam in late December strengthened its regulations for preventing biodiversity crime, the government announced. The move was part of a project that will also seek to raise awareness and responsibility within public agencies, organisations, and individuals to help conserve ecosystems, flora, fauna, and genetic resources.
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