Biodiversity Pulse Weekly: Thursday January 19, 2023

Published 13:22 on January 19, 2023  /  Last updated at 13:22 on January 19, 2023  /  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 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).

TOP STORY

UNEP teams with data provider to launch nature risk profile methodology

Another tool for analysing companies’ impacts and dependencies on nature was launched in Davos on Tuesday, with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and sustainability intelligence firm S&P Global Sustainable1 announcing the release of their Nature Risk Profile methodology.

MARKET

WEF principles on biodiversity market challenge area-based credits

The fledgling practice of issuing voluntary biodiversity credits based on the area protected by a project is among the elements scrutinised in a draft set of integrity and governance principles for the market released by the World Economic Forum.

Australian cassowary credit scheme highlights the long road to a biodiversity market

A crediting project looking to protect tropical wetlands in remote northern Queensland has been described by its developer as one of the most developed in the world, however it is being held up by a lack of market infrastructure while also wanting to ensure it is scientifically rigorous enough to avoid the stigma of carbon credit schemes.

BUSINESS & FINANCE

SBTN opens for initial screening of corporate nature-based targets

The Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) has begun accepting applications from companies wanting their nature-based targets validated by the group, expected to drive private-sector biodiversity ambition.

Biodiversity experts “cautiously optimistic” for progress on finance in wake of global framework

Experts in biodiversity finance speaking at a meeting of the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation (CPIC) expressed optimism that the global biodiversity framework agreed at COP15 would help to channel steady flows of private finance into conservation and restoration as well as scaling the nascent crediting market.

Biodiversity-related litigation expected to be on the rise -experts

Experts are bracing for increasing legal action linked to biodiversity in the coming years, the WEF annual summit in Davos heard on Wednesday, taking as a cue the recent rise in litigation against big companies and governments over their climate-related actions or inactions.

WWF announces tool to help measure corporate impact and risks for biodiversity loss

Conservation organisation WWF launched a new free-access tool on Monday intended to help companies and investors better understand their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity.

Asian banks lag on nature risks, WWF finds

Asian banks are increasingly recognising nature-related risks as important, but are making little headway in converting that recognition into clearly stated expectations from their clients, WWF Singapore’s annual Sustainable Banking Assessment (SUSBA) has found.

POLICY

INTERVIEW: New EU deforestation law will set global benchmark despite risk of loopholes

The EU’s newly-agreed law on deforestation-free supply chains across key goods entering the bloc’s single market will set a global benchmark for others to follow, despite the risk of loopholes in the final text due, according to Nicole Rycroft, founder and CEO of non-profit Canopy Planet.

EU’s biggest party opposes MEP efforts to ramp up nature restoration law

The EU’s biggest political group will not support an effort in the European Parliament to increase the ambition of the bloc’s nature restoration bill, senior party members said on Thursday while urging that food security and increased cooperation with farmers must be taken into account.

Seaweed is an underexploited resource in Europe, report finds

Seaweed farming can be a powerful tool to capture carbon and transform regional economies in the EU but it is being hindered by an overly-complicated and costly regulatory process, according to a report prepared for the European Commission and published on Friday.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Splashing cash in Peru – USAID this week announced it wil work with the US Congress to provide $50 mln in funds for its new Enterprises for Development, Growth, and Empowerment (EDGE) Fund, designed to address global development challenges. Among the first programmes to receive funding from EDGE will be the Madre de Dios Sustainable Landscapes Initiative, a 200,000 acre sustainable biodiversity corridor in a region suffering high deforestation rates and illegal gold mining. EDGE will work with Inkaterra Peru, the Smithsonian Center for Conservation and Sustainability, and others on the project.

Fixing the lake – The Canadian government has earmarked C$1.6 mln in funding for 25 projects dedicated to restoration and protection of the Lake Winnipeg Basin. Working with partners and stakeholders, the Lake Winnipeg Basin Program supports science, action, and collaboration to improve water quality and the ecological health of Lake Winnipeg. The programme funds projects focused on three priority areas including nutrient reduction, enhancing collaboration between partners and stakeholders throughout the basin, and engaging Indigenous peoples in freshwater stewardship, Environment and Climate Change Canada said.

Funding restoration – In California, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy has allocated a total $36 mln in funds that will be granted to wetland restoration projects in the delta. In order to support restoration, conservation, and climate resilience, the group will fund projects related to issues such as crop conversion to rice cultivation, tidal wetland restoration, land acquisition, and project planning.

More funds – Hydro One Limited has announced a new financing programme to support sustainable projects, the first for a utility in Canada. Called a Sustainable Financing Framework, Hydro One and its subsidiaries will have the ability to issue sustainable financing instruments such as sustainable and green bonds and allocate the net proceeds to investments in eligible green and social project categories, stated a release. The project categories include clean energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation, socio-economic advancement of Indigenous people, and access to essential services such as the electrical grid and high-speed broadband. (ConstructConnect)

Quickening the pace – Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) this week signed a contract with UAE-based environmental technology firm Distant Imagery to plant 2.5 mln mangrove seedlings across Abu Dhabi using innovative drone planting technology adopted by Abu Dhabi’s Environment Agency. The new contract signed at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) comes within the framework of the Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative and the existing partnership with EAD. It enables ADNOC to accelerate its mangrove planting activities by deploying drones that can disperse over 2,000 mangrove seeds in roughly eight minutes, reinforcing the company’s commitment to plant up to 10 million mangroves in Abu Dhabi by 2030. (WAM)

Down by the water – Indonesia and the World Economic Forum on Thursday announced a partnership to help the Southeast Asian nation scale up blue carbon restoration and ocean conservation efforts. For Indonesia, the move is part of its strategy to rehabilitate 600,000 ha of mangroves by 2024, whereas WEF is making this the first of several steps to help countries with their blue carbon and ocean conservation efforts. (Carbon Pulse)

Going native – New Zealand’s Z Energy and charity Trees That Count this week launched a new project to help restore the nation’s native forests. Working with Tane’s Tree Trust as technical advisor, the project will seek to demonstrate the “seed island” concept – planting seeds of selected species in five small areas, and then having birds and the wind spread seeds from the initial plants. The project will focus on native trees and shrubs, and will be supported by Z’s NZ$1 mln biodiversity fund.

Calling UNESCO I – Cambodia is attempting to secure UNESCO World Heritage status for a stretch of the Mekong river to protect what is considered a crucial biodiversity hotspot. The Cambodian government wants the status for a stretch of the river running from the border to Laos and 200 km downstream to the border of Kratie province. (Bangkok Tribune)

Calling UNESCO II – The final meeting on the inclusion of Hirkan Forests as Azerbaijan’s first transboundary UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site has been held, and the final stage of the inscription is currently underway, Firuddin Aliyev, Head of Azerbaijan’s Biodiversity Conservation Service, said on Friday, News.Az reports. Speaking at a press conference, Aliyev noted that all the relevant documents have been submitted, and Azerbaijan is confident to get a positive result this year.

Representing Japan – Japan’s Honda Motor this week announced it has joined the TNFD Forum, committing to align its mission and principles with that of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures. The company outlined its first biodiversity strategy back in 2011, and said this week it will take a proactive approach to disclosing nature-related information and further accelerating its conservation activities.

Making promises – The Labor party in New South Wales will establish a koala national park if it wins office, it has announced. Koalas are threatened with extinction in some parts of Australia, with wildfires devastating the population. An NSW koala park would provide a home for about a fifth of Australia’s total koala population, according to state Labor MP Chris Minns.

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